On 1 January 2017, an amendment in rule 116 of the Singapore Patents Rules which introduces Chinese, in addition to English, as a language for international applications and request forms (e.g., request for PCT/RO/101) filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as the Receiving Office (RO) was brought into force.
Such change was also published by International Bureau in Official Notices (PCT Gazette) dated 5 January 2017, stating that, with effect since 1 January 2017, IPOS, in its capacity as the RO, would accept Chinese as a language in which international applications and a request (PCT/RO/101) may be filed, while, in its functioning as International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the PCT, would be competent to act as ISA and IPEA for international applications filed with the receiving office of any prescribed contracting States, or translations thereof furnished for that purposes of international search and international preliminary examination, in the language of Chinese.
For an international application filed with the receiving office of any prescribed contracting States in, or translated to, the Chinese language, that designates the IPOS as the ISA and IPEA, the International Search Report (ISR) and the International Preliminary Report of Patentability (IPRP) will also be issued in the Chinese language, respectively.
Such change will be applicable for international applications filed on and after 5 November 2021 and is expected to provide greater convenience to nationals and residents of Singapore filing international applications, especially to applicants who have filed or will be filling their international applications in Chinese language. Applicants will have the option to defer any translation costs from Chinese language into English language at a later stage and make a conscious decision on whether to translate the application at a time closer to the national phase deadline.
As of 1 November 2021, the prescribed contracting States mentioned above include Singapore, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Uganda, United States of America and Vietnam.
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