COUNTRY : REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE
CAPITAL : SINGAPORE
LANGUAGES : ENGLISH, MALYA, CHINESE
MEMBER : HAGUE AGREEMENT, PARIS CONVENTION, WIPO, WTO
Singapore Patent Design & Trademarks office is managed by The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
Protection to Design is provided at a two tier level in Singapore:
Direct Filing with National Patent & Trademark office
Kindly refer our guide under the Hague system.
To come under the scope of registration, a Design should:
To come under the scope of registration, a Design should:
i. Be new and / or original
ii. Not have been disclosed to the public anywhere by publication in tangible form or by use in any other way prior to the filing date or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration to which a 12 month exception is provided.
iii. Be significantly distinguishable from known designs or combination of known designs.
iv. Not contain scandalous or obscene matter, or be contrary to public order or morality.
v. Not be a mere mechanical contrivance.
vi. Be applicable to an article, should appeal to the eye.
Original here means, originating from the author of such a design and includes those cases which though old in themselves , are new in their application as well.
Aspects of Designs registrable:
• 2 Dimensional, 3 Dimensional, General Appearance of a design.
• Decoration, Shapes, Lines, Colours, Pattern
• Aesthetic impression on the sense of sight
• Style of Calligraphy
• Appearance of goods
• Appearance of movable property which can be independently transacted
• Combination of all of the above.
• Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The following kinds of Designs are not registrable in Singapore:
Under the Registered Designs Act of Singapore, the following cannot be registered:
• Designs that are contrary to the public order or morality.
• computer programmes or layout-designs of integrated circuits.
• designs applied to certain articles: works of sculpture (other than casts used or intended for use as models or patterns to be multiplied by any industrial process); * any method or principle of construction.
• designs that are solely functional.
• designs that are dependent upon the appearance of another article, of which it is intended by the designer to form an integral part; or enable the article to be connected to, or placed in, around or against, another article so that either article may perform its function.
Designs that are primarily Literary or Artistic in character are not protected under the Designs Act as under:
i. Books, Jackets, Calendars, Certificates, Forms & other documents, Dressmaking patterns, Greeting Cards, Leaflets, Maps & Plan cards, Postcards, Stamps, Medals.
ii. Labels, Tokens, Cards, Cartons.
iii. Any Principle or mode of construction of an article.
iv. Mere mechanical contrivance.
v. Buildings & Structures.
Conducting a search prior to filing the design application is always advised to rule out conflict with prior registered marks. Our Attorney will assist you in search, filing and protection of the Design application in Singapore.
Steps to Registration:
i. Finding out whether such a design has been registered previously.
ii. Preparing a representation of the design
iii. Identifying the class of design.
iv. Providing a statement of novelty.
v. Including a disclaimer that the design has not been in the public domain at any point in time.
vi. Claiming a priority date if the design Is registered in other countries.
vii. Determining the fee to be paid.
viii. Ensuring all enclosures are attached.
ix. Complying with objections if any.
x. Providing full details pertaining to contacts and addresses.
After the applicant has filed all the necessary documents, the Registry of Designs examines the documents to ensure that all the formalities have been met. This entails an examination of all information provided in the form. For instance, the examiners would check that the representations of the designs are of the prescribed size and quality, the classification is accurate and the statement of novelty is provided.
Substantive examination pertaining to novelty features are not carried out by the Registry.
Objections Raised by the Registry of Designs:
If there are any amendments or deficiencies spotted in the formalities examination, the examiners will notify the applicant and the applicant would have to correct this non-compliance within a given period. If the corrections are not made to the Registrar within the stipulated deadline, the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.
If the applicant does not agree with the objections raised, applicant should reply to the Registrar in writing with his reasons. If the Registrar accepts his submissions, the application will proceed to registration. Otherwise, it would be refused.
Once an application is in order, a registration certificate will be issued and the application will be published in the Designs Journal. Post publication, the published designs are made available for public inspection.
The registration of a design is valid for an initial period of five years from the date of filing the application. Thereafter, the registration may be renewed every five years up to a maximum of 15 years, subject to the payment of renewal fees.
WHY PROTECT DESIGNS IN SINGAPORE? Patent law deals in ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of a company or organization as it deals with inventions that are not easily accessible by the general public. Designs along with Trademarks on the other hand, are the ‘visual medium’ which aid in brand projection, recognition, association and retention by existing and potential customers. To prevent rivals from copying industrial designs, it is therefore an important and strategic aspect in the protection of intellectual property rights. Therefore, as with all IP, it is better to begin protection of designs at the earliest before disclosure with the general public.