New IPOS-INPI PPH Pilot Programme and Re-registration of Granted Singapore Patent in Laos

By Alban Kang, Hui Leng Tan

05-2020

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has launched a new Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot programme with the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI). It is now also possible to obtain patent protection in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) through the re-registration of a granted Singapore patent.

(I) New IPOS-INPI PPH Pilot Programme

A new PPH pilot programme between IPOS and INPI was launched on 1 May 2020. This is a five year programme and is scheduled to end on 1 May 2025.

IPOS has existing PPH pilot programmes with the China National Intellectual Property Administration, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property and the European Patent Office as well as with other major Patent Offices via the Global PPH. Like the existing PPH programmes, the new IPOS-INPI PPH programme will allow the sharing of search and examination results between the two Patent Offices. Copies of the search and examination results from the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE) which the applicant intend to rely should be submitted at the time of filing the request for search and/or examination in the Office of Later Examination (OLE).

Additionally, the patent applications filed with IPOS and INPI should be either corresponding applications which are linked by way of priority, or related national phase applications which are derived from the same Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application.

Detailed information on the requirements and various examples in which a PPH request may be accepted by IPOS can be found at https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/protecting-your-ideas/patent/ipos-inpi-pph-guideline_1-may-2020.pdf.

(II) Re-registration of Granted Singapore Patent in Laos

An applicant can now obtain patent protection in Laos by re-registering its granted Singapore patent with the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP).

There is no cut-off date for such a re-registration request. If the re-registration request is successful, the term of protection of the Laotian patent will be 20 years from the allocated filing date of the Singapore patent, subject to the payment of renewal fees.

To qualify, the Singapore patent must be in force at the time of filing the re-registration request and it must meet the Laotian patentability requirements. The request must also be accompanied by the following:

  1. Certified copies of the Certificate of Grant and of the granted specification of the Singapore patent;

  2. A copy of the abstract of the Singapore patent; and

  3. A Power of Attorney in Laos.

Certified Laotian translations of the granted specification and of the abstract of the Singapore patent must also be filed within 6 months of the request. No official fees are payable.

This article is produced by our Singapore office, Bird & Bird ATMD LLP, and does not constitute legal advice. It is intended to provide general information only. Please contact our lawyers if you have any specific queries.