Yes. A complaint may be raised on the grounds stated in rule 17(1)(a) to (g) of the Rules that a registered patent agent :
Yes, it is refundable at the end of inquiry of the Disciplinary Committee unless the Disciplinary Committee determines that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious.
IPOS would like to encourage one to seek amicable settlements before he makes a complaint to IPOS so as to save time and avoid unnecessary legal costs. He has various options to resolve his case: (i) The Association of Singapore Patent Agents ("ASPA"), if his patent agent is a member of ASPA; (ii) The patent agent's firm's complaint procedure, if available; (iii) The Law Society of Singapore, if his patent agent is a Singapore lawyer; or (iv) The Singapore Mediation Centre. Mediation is a voluntary process in which a third party (called the mediator) facilitates negotiations between the disputing parties with a view to resolving their differences privately and amicably.
The Disciplinary Committee, which is appointed by the Minister of Law under rule 16 of the Patents (Patent Agents) Rules 2001, will conduct an inquiry into the complaint.
The Disciplinary Committee will consist of a registered patent agent, an advocate and solicitor, and a lay person.
IPOS will inform the complainant in writing of the date of Disciplinary Committee meeting when the date is confirmed.
Yes, IPOS will send to the complainant a copy of the Affected Person’s written representations, if any, and the notice mentioned in the question on the powers of the Disciplinary Committee.
There will be a hearing only if the Disciplinary Committee decides to call the Affected Person to answer any allegation made against him and the Affected Person chooses to make oral representations to answer any allegation made against him.
At the hearing, the complainant is entitled to appear in person or be represented by an advocate and solicitor who has in force a practising certificate issued under Section 25 of the Legal Profession Act (Cap. 161), and make submissions touching on the matters in issue.
The hearing may be adjourned at the discretion of the Disciplinary Committee and if adjourned, IPOS will inform the complainant in writing of the date, time and place at which the hearing is to be resumed.
IPOS will send a notice of the Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the complainant.