New way to settle patent disputes from April 1

Companies and entrepreneurs will have a new option for settling patent disputes from April 1 onwards.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) is teaming up with the World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Centre (Wipo AMC) to offer a new option for patent disputes filed at a national IP office.

Under the new option, parties in a patent dispute will be able to submit the matter to an expert of their choice for an assessment, IPOS said in a March 31 statement.

"Patent disputes such as inventorship or entitlement disputes, or patent revocations, often involve complex technical or scientific issues."

Currently, issues are adjudicated by the Registrar of Patents. But using the new option could be cheaper and faster, Ipos said.

Wipo AMC will help appoint a suitable expert if required, after consultation with the disputing parties.

The expert will be chosen from Wipo AMC's panel of experts from across the world who have specialised knowledge relevant to IP issues in a broad range of technical and scientific areas, such as IT and life sciences, it noted.

Ipos added that it will also appoint four "IP adjudicators" on April 1, "to allow some of the best legal minds in the field of IP in Singapore to contribute towards the development of Singapore's IP legal landscape".

The newly appointed IP adjudicators will preside over IP disputes at Ipos. They comprise academics and legal service officers with expertise in a range of IP law topics such as patents and trade marks.