The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced today that it is delaying the launch of IPOS Digital Hub and the implementation of the previously announced official fee increases.

Summary

IP2SG will be switched off on 25 May 2022 at 2359 hours Singapore time. The new electronic filing platform IPOS Digital Hub will start operating on 2 June 2022 at 1200 hrs Singapore time.

We expect that the period between 26 May 2022 and 5 June 2022 will be excluded days and any deadlines falling within this period may be met by Monday 6 June 2022.

The increases in official fees charged by IPOS for its services will take effect only on 26 May 2022.

Electronic Online Filing System

IPOS had initially intended the new online filing system to go live on 4 May 2022. Instead, IPOS Digital Hub will now only be commissioned on 2 June 2022 at 1200 hrs SGT.

The official reason given for the delayed launch is “…to allow IPOS to resolve technical issues and prevent any anticipated disruptions to users in using the new Electronic Online System (“EOS”)…”

From noon on 2 June 2022, IPOS Digital Hub will become the official electronic online system for the filing for Singapore patent, trade mark and registered design applications. Applications to register geographical indications (GI) and plant variety rights in Singapore may also be filed on IPOS Digital Hub.

The existing IP2SG filing system will be retired on 25 May 2022 at 2359 hours Singapore time. This was originally scheduled to have taken place on 29 April 2022.

Official Fee Increases

The increased fees for patent, trade mark and registered design and other matters were due to have come into effect on 29 April 2022. They will now only be implementated on 26 May 2022.

The fee increases are significant, particularly renewal fees for granted patents. As a reminder, it is possible, in many cases, to take a required action and pay the fee at the current rates, before the fee increase takes effect. This could result in substantial cost savings.

We recommend that, where possible, you consider instructing actions on which official fees are payable now, and before the implementation date of 26 May 2022.

Previously Declared Excluded Days

IPOS had previously announced that a number of days were to be “excluded days” under the various intellectual propertly Acts.

Registries Practice Direction No. 1 of 2022 states that Friday 29 April 2022, and Wednesday 4 May 2022 to Friday 6 May 2022 are excluded days. The practice direction remains in effect and these days are still to be treated as excluded days. Saturday 7 May 2022 and Sunday 8 May 2022 are excluded days by virtue of Practice Direction No. 1 of 2009.

In summary, 29 April 2022 to 8 May 2022 are excluded days before IPOS. 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.

New Excluded Days to be Declared

IPOS has announced that it intends to issue practice directions to effectively make the entire period of 26 May 2022 to 3 June 2022 (both dates inclusive) as excluded days.

We expect that this will take the form of a new practice direction to declare that Thursday 26 May 2022, Friday 27 May 2022, Monday 30 May 2022, Tuesday 31 May 2022 and Wednesday 1 June 2022 are to be treated as excluded days.

With Saturday 28 May 2022, Sunday 29 May 2022, Saturday 4 June 2022 and Sunday 5 June 2022 already treated as excluded under Practice Direction No. 1 of 2009, the proposed practice direction will have the effect that the period between 26 May 2022 and 5 June 2022 will be excluded days. The first working day after this period is Monday 6 June 2022.

When the practice direction is issued, we expect that any deadline falling within the period of 26 May 2022 and 5 June 2022 may be met if the action is taken (and any fee paid), by Monday 6 June 2022.

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