UPDATED 28 April 2022: IPOS has announced a delay in the proposed launch of IPOS Digital Hub to 2 June 2022 (details below). New excluded days will be announced. Despite the delayed launch, the excluded days declared by IPOS and discussed in this post are not affected.
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore has announced the launch of a new electronic filing system for patents, trade marks and designs, called IPOS Digital Hub.
On 25 May 2022, IPOS will retire its existing e-filing system (IP2SG), which has been in use since February 2014. The plan is for IPOS Digital Hub to go live on 2 June 2022 at 1200 hrs Singapore Time.
IPOS Digital Hub will then become the default electronic online system (EOS) for patent, trade mark and registered design filings in Singapore.
In order to implement these changes, IPOS has issued a Practice Direction setting out a number of excluded days.
TL;DR In combination with an intervening weekend and a couple of public holidays in Singapore falling within this period, the entire period from 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 is excluded for the purposes of transacting business with IPOS.
Newly Declared Excluded Days
Registries Practice Direction No. 1 of 2022 sets out a number of days which are to be treated as being excluded. These are:
Friday 29 April 2022
Wednesday 4 May 2022 to Friday 6 May 2022
According to Practice Direction No. 1 of 2009, Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays are excluded days before IPOS.
Saturday 30 April 2022 and Sunday 1 May 2022 are therefore excluded days before IPOS.
Public Holidays: Labour Day and Hari Raya Puasa
The Singapore Ministry of Manpower publishes a list of public holidays for Singapore on its website. The list usually includes public holidays for the current year and the following year.
Labour Day is a public holiday celebrated in Singapore. It falls on 1 May each year. This year, 1 May 2022 is a Sunday and the following Monday (2 May 2022) is therefore a public holiday.
Hari Raya Puasa falls on 2 May 2022 this year. This holiday celebrates the end of Ramadan and the festival of Eid al-Fitr, known locally as Hari Raya Puasa.
Monday 2 May 2022 and Tuesday 3 May 2022 are therefore excluded days before IPOS.
As set out above, Wednesday 4 May 2022, Thursday 5 May 2022 and Friday 6 May 2022 are excluded by Practice Direction No. 1 of 2022. The following Saturday and Sunday (7 May 2022 and 8 May 2022) are excluded days by virtue of Practice Direction No. 1 of 2009.
Summary: 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 are Excluded Days
The entire period between 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 (both dates inclusive) is therefore excluded for the purpose of transacting business with IPOS.
These days are excluded days for business conducted before all registries, including the Trade Marks Registry, the Patents Registry, the Designs Registry and the Plant Varieties Registry of IPOS.
What is an Excluded Day?
An excluded day is a day when business cannot be done at IPOS.
Any deadline which falls on an excluded day (and which is not met by that day) will be automatically extended to the next working day which is a non-excluded day. In other words, any deadline that falls on an excluded day will be regarded as having been met, if whatever is needed to meet the deadline is done on the first working day following the excluded day.
Applying this to the present situation, any deadline falling within the period of 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 may be met if the action is taken (and any fee paid), by Monday 9 May 2022.