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Intellectual Property Office of Singapore Revamps Programmes to Help Businesses

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has revamped its Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme (EMPS) and SG IP FAST Programme as the country reopens its economy and improves its position as a worldwide innovation and IP hub. This action helps more enterprises protect their IPs in a post-Covid recovery situation. The Revised Enhanced Mediation Promotion Scheme (REMPS) would provide firms with additional funding for disputes involving both Singapore and foreign intellectual property rights.

The REMPS encourages parties in IPOS proceedings to choose mediation by funding the process so that more can experience mediation as an attractive option to resolve their disputes amicably.

– Mark Lim stated as the Chief Legal Counsel/Director, Hearings and Mediation of IPOS

This is also part of SIPS 2030, in which they hope to expand international IP dispute resolution in Singapore by encouraging more corporations and individual IP owners to use the comprehensive array of IP dispute resolution services they provide.

Over the previous three years, the number of cases sent to IPOS has more than doubled. Enterprises are viewing mediation as an appealing conflict resolution alternative for intellectual property issues, citing speed and cost-effectiveness as major factors.

The enhanced financing available in REMPS for disputes involving Singapore and foreign IP rights will provide more assistance to businesses, particularly when cross-jurisdictional conflicts are involved. The REMPS provides firms with a 17% boost in funding or up to SG$ 14,000 for disputes involving Singapore and overseas IP rights.

Parties will get up to SG$ 10,000 for disputes involving exclusively Singapore IP rights while they can recover up to 80% of a mediation-related lawyer/agent fees and disbursements from the financing. If just one party decides to apply for financing, the only applicant for REMPS may claim up to S$3,000 for every mediation case.

Apart from REMPS, businesses can also look forward to more support when resolving IP disputes in Singapore through SG IP FAST Programme. Sharmine Wu, Director of Patents, Design and Plant Varieties, IOS said that as the economy improves, they anticipate that more businesses will be able to bring their ideas to market faster and harness intellectual property for growth.

We launched SG IP FAST in 2020 to expedite IP protection for businesses and help them use IP to thrive despite the pandemic. This update is part of the Singapore IP Strategy [SIPS 2030] to enhance Singapore’s position as a global IA/IP hub.

– Sharmaine Wu, Director of Patents, Designs and Plant Varieties, IPOS

IP filings with IPOS have climbed by 33% in the last five years, indicating a consistent increase in innovation. IPOS received over 14,600 patent applications in 2021. With the increased volume of IP filings, IPOS has reduced its acceleration programmes to provide a competitive advantage to more businesses as global economies reopen.

The SG IP FAST programme will be extended until April 2024, with a doubled annual ceiling of 120 patent applications, while the 12 Months File-to-Grant programme will be discontinued, allowing more businesses to acquire their patent in as little as 6 months or 9 months with SG IP FAST. The period for requesting acceleration for related trademark or registered design applications under SG IP FAST has also been increased from one to twelve months, giving applicants more time to develop their IP portfolio and growth strategy.

IPOS is always creating new solutions to better serve the quickly changing demands of its communities through technology across all its companies. It is critical that the government implement and protect these inventions as rapidly and effectively as possible using SG IP FAST and REMPS.

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