IPOS appointed ASEAN’s first international authority in patent searches

IPOS appointed ASEAN’s first international authority in patent searches
Screengrab of the Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) website.
Published: 1:38 PM, October 6, 2014
Updated: 2:00 PM, October 6, 2014

SINGAPORE – The Republic has made significant progress in its quest to become an intellectual property hub of Asia, with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) becoming the first IP office in Southeast Asia to be appointed an International Authority in Patent Search and Examination.

The appointment of IPOS - specifically as an International Searching Authority (ISA), and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) - was made on Sep 25 by the Assembly of the PCT Union during the 54th World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Assemblies. The move is targeted to be effective early next year, the agency announced on Monday (Oct 6).

The PCT system, an international patent filing system administered by WIPO, assists businesses and inventors to seek patent protection among the 148 countries through a single international patent application. The search and examination of PCT applications can only be conducted by appointed International Authorities known as ISAs and IPEAs. There are currently 17 IP offices across the world being appointed to act as ISAs and IPEAs.

IPOS, working together with the Singapore Permanent Mission in Geneva, was successful in its bid to become the first IP Office appointed out of the ASEAN region and the fifth in Asia, after China, India, Japan and Korea.

“The ability to do PCT search and examination will add to the suite of IP services that IPOS offers to innovators and businesses, bringing more IP related work and employment to Singapore and strengthening Singapore’s proposition as an IP hub in Asia,” IPOS said in its press release.

“PCT applicants who choose IPOS as their ISA and IPEA can count on the deep technical expertise available from its examiner pool, 95 per cent of whom are PhD holders. Another unique strength of IPOS is the ability of its examiners to conduct searches in English as well as Chinese.”

It added that the growing importance of the need to search in the Chinese language is underscored by the fact that patent applications in China grew at an annual average of more than 30 per cent from 2009 to 2012. IPOS said it is uniquely placed to serve this need, with 25 per cent of its examiners having the ability to conduct searches in Chinese.


Said IPOS Chief Executive Tan Yih San: “IPOS is honoured to be recognised as an International Authority in WIPO for patent search and examination. This is an international quality endorsement of the services provided by IPOS. Businesses and innovators, particularly in Asia, have increased used of the PCT system to access other markets.

“With Singapore as an International Authority in Patent Search and Examination, inventions could be better protected with lower cost and higher quality services. This will lead to greater creativity and engender more innovative activities and job opportunities in Singapore and around the region.”

In the same press release, IPOS announced that it also signed a series of bilateral agreements with the European Patent Office, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, and the Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property to enhance patent connectivity, on the sidelines of the WIPO assembly last month. IPOS also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) to collaborate on quality management and training in trade mark examination.

“These agreements and IPOS’ appointment as ISA/IPEA testify to Singapore’s ongoing efforts to provide businesses and creators with quality IP protection, global connectivity and accessibility to important markets,” IPOS said. CHANNELNEWSASIA