– Registered Designs Act (Chapter 266).
Membership in International Conventions
– Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), since December 10, 1990.
– WTO’s TRIPS Agreement, since January 1, 1995.
– Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, Stockholm Act, since February 23, 1995.
– Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, Geneva Act, since April 17, 2005.
– Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, since March 19, 2020.
– The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille), since September 16, 2021.
National filing: effective from November 13, 2000, a new design must be registered in Singapore for protection.
Existing U.K. design applications and registrations: under the transitional provision, designs registered or applied for in the United Kingdom under the U.K. Designs (Protection) Act (Cap. 208) continue to be protected after November 13, 2000, provided the U.K. design is renewed in Singapore at its next renewal date. Renewal applications may be filed within six months before the expiry date.
Definition: under the Act, a design means features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament, applied to an article by any industrial process. From October 30, 2017 “colors” can be specified as one of the features of a design, in addition to features of shape, configuration, pattern and ornament. However, colors per se are not registrable. Features of colors falling in either of the following categories shall not be protected:
Category 1: colors of an article or a non-physical product that (1) is dictated solely by the function that the article or non-physical product has to perform; (2) is dependent upon the appearance of another article or non-physical product of which the article or non-physical product is intended by the designer to form an integral part; or (3) enables the article or non-physical product to be connected to, or placed in, around or against another article or non-physical product, so that either article or non-physical product may perform its function.
Category 2: features consisting only of one or more colors that (1) are not used within any feature of shape or configuration; and (2) do not give rise to any feature of pattern or ornament.
Non-physical product to be protected: this is a new category introduced from October 30, 2017 which provides protection by registration of some kinds of virtual designs (that perform an intrinsic utilitarian function). A non-physical product is anything that does not have a physical form, is produced by the projection of a design on a surface or into a medium (including air) and has an intrinsic utilitarian function and not merely to portray the appearance of the thing or to convey information. An example is a virtual keyboard, which has a utilitarian value as it can be used to type characters. The device for projecting the non-physical product is also protectable. An example is the software enabling the device to project the non-physical product. A special provision is being provided under the Registered Designs Act to allow the registration of the design of a non-physical product, despite the disclosure before the filing date, so long as the application for registration of the design is filed twelve months immediately after October 30, 2017. The disclosure shall not cause the design to be refused or revoked.
Novelty: the Designs Registry may refuse a design if it is not new, or for some other reason.
Multiple designs: an application may contain more than one design, provided it is for a set of article or all the articles fall in the same class and subclass.
Priority: may be claimed within six months from the date of the basic application in a Paris Convention or WTO country, or from any other country with which Singapore has a relevant agreement.
International design registration: Singapore may be designated and if no refusal is issued within six months of its publication, the design is automatically registered. Singapore is a Receiving Office.
Filing requirements for an application:
1. An application form to be completed and filed with official fees;
2. 3 identical representations of the designs.
Note: all documents must be filed in English.
Electronic filing: applications must be filed online.
For a change of name or address: a scanned copy of the change of name/address certificate, no legalization required.
Examination: formal only, and not substantive.
Delivery of document: the certificate of registration is issued in electronic format only.
Duration – extension: initial period of five years, counted from the filing date (or priority date if applicable), extendible by up to two periods of five years each, for a maximum of fifteen years. U.K. designs registered or applied for before November 13, 2000, are valid for twenty-five years. However, renewal every five years in Singapore is required after November 13, 2000.
Late renewal: possible, within six months of the expiry date with payment of late fees and renewal fees.
Assignment: a certified true copy of the assignment agreement, signed by both parties, and an application form must be filed.
Revocation: any time after registration.
Infringement: the registered owner is entitled to relief, which includes an injunction, damages or an account of profits.