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Singapore Patent Office Accepts International Applications filed in Chinese

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”), in its capacity as a receiving Office, International Search Authority (“ISA”), and International Preliminary Examination Authority (“IPEA”) under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, accepts international applications filed in the Chinese language. The Patents Rules in Singapore were amended on 1 January 2017 to allow Chinese as a language for international applications filed with IPOS as the receiving Office. This amendment demonstrates IPOS examiners’ confidence in dealing with Chinese-language patent specifications and distinguishes IPOS as one of the few Authorities worldwide with bilingual capabilities in conducting prior art searches and patent examinations for international applications.

Applicants with patent applications in the Chinese language will benefit from this development, as they can receive insight from IPOS on the patentability of their inventions even before incurring translation expenses from Chinese to other languages for their patent specifications. Applicants can also choose to defer translation of their applications to a later stage closer to the national phase entries for their designated countries. Finally, applicants interested in applying their patents to the Chinese market will have the benefit of having their applications examined at an earlier stage in consideration of publications in the Chinese patent database.