Singapore: Extension of pilot patent acceleration programmes

In brief

To help enterprises obtain patent protection more expediently, Singapore has established a global network of acceleration programmes and has announced the extension of the following two pilot acceleration programmes:

(1) Two-year extension of the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) AIM Pilot Programme until 26 August 2023

(2) Five-year extension of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot Programme with China until 31 August 2026


Key takeaways

  • Applicants for emerging technology patents will continue to benefit from the ASPEC AIM Pilot Programme as the process for 'Industry 4.0' patent applications in the ASEAN region may be accelerated.
  • Applicants will continue to enjoy accelerated patent applications in China or Singapore by relying on a relevant examination result established first by either Intellectual Property (IP) offices. 


ASPEC AIM Pilot Programme

  • The ASPEC was launched on 15 June 2009. It is a regional patent work-sharing programme among the nine participating ASEAN Member States (AMS) IP offices of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The purpose of this programme is to share search and examination results between the participating offices to allow applicants in participating countries to obtain corresponding patents quicker and more efficiently.
  • Applicants may rely on national written opinion(s) or the final examination report issued by participating IP offices to accelerate the patenting process in any one of the other participating IP offices.
  • The ASPEC Acceleration for Industry 4.0 Infrastructure and Manufacturing ("ASPEC AIM") is an initiative under ASPEC that prioritises Industry 4.0 patent applications for first office actions to be issued within six months by a corresponding participating AMS IP Office. The ASPEC AIM Pilot Programme has recently been extended for a period of two years and will continue to run for a period of four years starting from 27 August 2019 to 26 August 2023, and is limited to 50 applications a year.
  • More information on the ASPEC and ASPEC AIM acceleration programmes can be found here.

PPH Pilot Programme between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA)

  • The PPH pilot between CNIPA and IPOS commenced on 1 September 2013 to accelerate patent applications by referencing the examination results established by either IP offices.
  • Where IPOS is the Office of First Filing (OFF) and the IPOS application contains claims that are determined to be allowable or patentable, the applicant may request an accelerated examination at the CNIPA for the corresponding application filed with the CNIPA as the Office of Second Filing (OSF). Likewise, where the CNIPA is the OFF and the CNIPA application contains claims that are determined to be allowable or patentable, the applicant may request an accelerated examination of the corresponding application filed with IPOS as the OSF.
  • The PPH Pilot Programme between CNIPA and IPOS has recently been extended for a period of five years and will end on 31 August 2026.

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