Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) fast tracks fintech and blockchain patent applications from 2 years to 6 months to receive a patent.
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) enacted a regulation fast-tracking fintech patent applications, which would include “blockchain, cryptocurrency, virtual exchanges, smart contracts.”
This regulation took effect on April 26, 2018.
The objective is to enable faster commercialization of fintech innovations.
Previously in Singapore, patent applications took two years, from application to grant.
The new legislation shortens this time period to six months, from application to grant.
Here are the requirements for this fast tracking:
1. The application is related to FinTech;
2. Application has to be first filed in Singapore;
3. Request for grant of patent and request for search and examination report forms have to be filed on the same day;
4. Application shall contain 20 or fewer claims;
5. Applicant needs to respond within two weeks from the date of receipt of formalities examination adverse report; and
6. Applicant needs to respond within two months from the date of receipt of written opinion.
Singapore is already a world leader for blockchain companies. This new shortened 6 month period will encourage even more blockchain companies to base their companies out of Singapore, by offering fast tracked patent protection in Singapore. By requiring startups to first file in Singapore, this will encourage more companies to commercialize their technologies in Singapore.
This IPOS news is particularly interesting to me, since I previously examined one of the first fast tracked patent applications in 2008 as a USPTO Patent Examiner, when the Patent Owner was guaranteed a decision within one year.
My guess is that the USPTO and other worldwide Patent Offices will follow this model, allowing fast tracking of financial and blockchain patent applications. This seems similar to when Patent Offices started fast tracking green applications.
1. IPOS, Launch of FinTech Fast Track Initiative: An Accelerated File-to-Grant Service for Financial Technology Patent Applications (Circular No. 3/2018), https://www.ipos.gov.sg/docs/default-source/resources-library/patents/circulars/(2018)-circular-no-3---launch-of-fintech-fast-track-initiative.pdf