Singapore Introduces New Option for Patent Dispute Resolution

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SINGAPORE – The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) launched a cheaper and faster option for the settlement of Intellectual Property (IP) disputes yesterday through a direct collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO AMC).

The new settlement option will allow disputing parties to submit the disagreement to an expert of their choosing from the Geneva-based WIPO AMC’s network of field-specific IP experts.

Previously, Singapore’s Registrar of Patents directly adjudicated all relevant patent disputes filed with the IPOS.

These can include inventorship or entitlement disputes, patent revocation and more complex technical and scientific issues and disagreements.

“This new option both streamlines and internationalizes IP disputes in Singapore, and further establishes the country’s status as a global trade hub. This is especially important as patents are becoming increasingly complex with far-reaching global applications and implications,” commented David Lee, Regional Manager at Dezan Shira & Associates Singapore.

Disputing parties will have the flexibility to choose whether the confidential expert determination in the disagreement will be binding, or serve as non-binding guidance for ongoing negotiations and arbitration.

The administration fee for expert determination is reduced to SGD500 (US$400), and the experts’ rate for 20-25 hours of preparation and determination will be SGD5,500 (US$4,400) per case. This is expected to allow for a satisfactory resolution of IP disputes for SGD6,000 (US$4,800) in between 60 and 120 days.

This will reduce both the cost and time required for patent proceedings, which previously took upwards of a year to conclude.

“The introduction of the expert determination option reinforces the strong collaborative relationship between WIPO and IPOS. This shared commitment to facilitate the resolution of IP disputes which may arise throughout the whole innovative lifecycle will definitely benefit IP users, owners and creators,” commented Director General of WIPO, Dr. Francis Gurry.

Tan Yih San, CEO of IPOS, also lauded the introduction of the new settlement resolution option, “We are delighted to partner with WIPO to offer businesses in the region a quick, low cost and high quality option for patent disputes. We also welcome the appointment of four new IP adjudicators of esteemed standing in the field of IP to augment the hearing of IP disputes at IPOS. IPOS will continue to work with our international and industry stakeholders to maintain a strong IP regime to serve IP creators in Singapore, and around the region.”

The official press release from IPOS announcing the new IP dispute resolution option can be found here.

Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia. Since its establishment in 1992, the firm has grown into one of Asia’s most versatile full-service consultancies with operational offices across China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and Vietnam in addition to alliances in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand as well as as well as liaison offices in Italy and the United States.

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