The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) recently announced delays in launching their new Electronic Online System (EOS), IPOS Digital Hub, and the official fee increase affecting patents, trademarks, registered designs, and other matters. The following is a summary of the new announcements.
The IPOS Digital Hub was set to come online by 4 May 2022, but the launch has now been pushed back to 2 June 2022 (1200hrs). The official reason for this delay is to enable the IPOS to address technical issues and avert anticipated disruptions when using the new EOS.
Starting on 2 June 2022, IPOS Digital Hub will be the authorised electronic online platform for filing Singapore patents, trademarks, and registered design applications. In addition, IPOS Digital Hub will also accept filing applications for registering plant variety rights and geographical indications (GI) in Singapore.
Due to the delay mentioned above, the decommissioning schedule for the current IP²SG EOS has been shifted from 29 April 2022 to 25 May 2022 (2359hrs) instead. EOS services will remain available through IP²SG until 25 May 2022 (2359hrs). Once the IP²SG is retired, EOS services will be rendered unavailable beginning from 26 May 2022 (0000hrs) to 2 June 2022 (1159hrs), after which services will resume via the new IPOS Digital Hub.
Note: All forms and draft correspondences in the IP²SG users’ draft folders and payment cart will be removed by 25 May 2022 (2359) and will not be retrievable in the IPOS Digital Hub. Therefore, users are advised to submit their drafts and payments (as appropriate) through IP²SG before 25 May 2022 (2359hrs).
The previously announced excluded days covered under the Registries Practice Direction (No. 1 of 2022), Practice Direction No. 1 of 2009, and Practice Direction No. 1 of 2019 are to remain in effect according to IPOS. Essentially, the period from 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 (both dates inclusive) is regarded as excluded days. Deadlines that fall within this period may be met if any relevant fees are paid and the action is taken before 9 May 2022.
In addition, IPOS announced its intention to issue another practice direction that will have excluded days between 26 May 2022 to 3 June 2022 (both dates inclusive) in due course.
In the latest news, due to technical issues faced during the launch of the new IPOS Digital Hub, the excluded days have been extended to 8 June 2022.
The implementation of legislative amendments and fee updates, which was initially slated for 29 April 2022, has now been shifted to come into effect on 26 May 2022 instead. The fee increases, specifically the renewal fees for granted patents, are particularly substantial. Be reminded that, in many cases, it is possible to take the necessary action and pay the fee at the current rates before the fee increase to achieve significant cost savings.
All deadlines specified by IPOS, which fall between 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 (both dates inclusive), shall be extended to 9 May 2022. These include deadlines for responding to examination reports or deficiency letters, deadlines for submitting requests for reinstatement, deadlines for filing for renewal, and deadlines for filing notices of opposition or requests for time extensions to file an opposition.
Take note that deadlines on the following list of matters will not be included:
Period for Claiming Priority for Applications Filed with Parties to the Paris Convention or the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (“UPOV Convention”)
Article 4(C)(3) of the Paris Conventions governs the period for claiming priority of these applications. The Article states that if the last day of the priority period falls on “a day when the Office is not open for filing applications in the country where protection is claimed”, is it possible to gain an extension of the priority period.
This also applies to the period for requesting priority in applications for grant protection for plant varieties governed by Article 11(1) of the UPOV Convention.
Since EOS services on the IP²SG platform will continue to be available between 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 (both dates inclusive), lodging applications, including those for which the applicant intends to claim priority, may still be submitted via IP²SG. FormSG will remain the default filing mode for Plant variety Protection and Geographical Indications. These applications’ filing dates will be accorded the same manner as before.
The delays on the IPOS Digital Hub platform and fee update increase are the most notable announcements made by IPOS recently. In addition, it is also vital to stay updated on the new practice directions to be declared and when the additional excluded days will effectively take place.
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