Singapore, like many countries, allows priority claims to be made in a patent application. If an applicant has an application filed earlier in a Paris Convention Treaty or a World Trade Organization (WTO) member country (other than Singapore), he may claim priority from this first-filed application, provided the Singapore registration is filed within 12 months from the date of the first filing. Similarly, an application which is first filed in Singapore can be used to claim priority in a corresponding application filed in a Paris Convention country or a World Trade Organization member country, provided that the corresponding application is filed within 12 months from the date of the first-filed Singapore application.
With effect from 1 Apr 2007, the Patents Act and Rules were amended via the Statutes (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2007 and the Patents (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2007 to provide for (amongst other matters), the restoration of the right of priority. Applicants now have two more months after the 12-month period to file his Singapore patent application and claim priority, based on an earlier application filed in a Paris Convention or World Trade Organization member state if they can show that they missed the initial 12-month period either unintentionally, or despite showing due care. Other requirements include the payment of a fee and the furnishing of a Patents Form within a prescribed period if such a restoration is sought in a patent application.
For the list of parties to Paris Convention and members of the World Trade Organization, please refer to the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) website and the WTO website.