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Singapore: IPOS Launches FinTech Fast Track (FTFT) Initiative for Financial Technology Patent Applications

26 July 2018

Singapore: IPOS Launches FinTech Fast Track (FTFT) Initiative for Financial Technology Patent Applications

In line with Singapore’s vision to harness infocomm technologies, networks and big data to create techenabled solutions for its citizens, an initiative called Smart Nation Singapore, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has launched a FinTech Fast Track (FTFT) initiative, effective from April 26, 2018, for a period of 12 months, in order to expedite the file-to-grant process for FinTech patent applications to as few as six months. Normally, it will take an average of 42 months from filing before a patent application can be granted in Singapore.


The FTFT initiative aims to promote the advancement of FinTech innovations and to encourage companies to market and commercialize their technologies in Singapore.


There are no fees required to participate in this FTFT initiative, but the following requirements have to be met:


i) the application is related to FinTech;


ii) the application is first filed in Singapore;


iii) the filing of Request for Grant of Patent (PF1) and Request for Search and Examination (PF11) are done on the same day;


iv) the application contains 20 or fewer claims; and


v) a supporting document labelled as “Fast Track document” stating that the application is related to FinTech is furnished during the submission of the Request for Search and Examination (PF11).


Under this initiative, FinTechrelated inventions include, amongst others, electronic payments such as mobile or streamlined payments, integrated billing and mobile money; investment platforms using data analytics; insurance technology; blockchain and banking; fraud protection; virtual exchanges and smart contracts. FinTechrelated applications falling under the International Patent Classification (IPC) of G06Q 20/00 and G06Q 40/00 is also included.


As opposed to the regular track, qualifying applications under the FTFT initiative could be granted as early as six months from the filing date. However, to facilitate this accelerated service, applicants should respond within two weeks from the date of receipt of an adverse formalities examination report, if any, and within two months from the date of receipt of a written opinion. Under the regular track, applicants are given up to two months to rectify the deficiencies at formalities examination stage and up to five months to respond to a written opinion at substantive examination stage.


Once a notice of eligibility to proceed to the grant of the patent has been issued, applicants should file a request for the issuance of a certificate of grant within two months from the date of receipt of the notice. Although the stipulated timeline remains the same for applications under the normal track, applicants are encouraged to file a request for early publication before or on the same day of filing the request for the issuance of a certificate of grant as patent applications will only be published 18 months from the date of filing without the early publication request.


With this initiative by IPOS, enterprises would have a heightened interest in having their FinTech inventions first filed in Singapore. With respect to start-ups, having a granted patent in Singapore would guarantee an additional selling point to potential investors. As such, this fast-tracked processing in Singapore is expected to create a significant impact in the nation’s financial sector.

About the author

 Denise Mirandah

Denise Mirandah

As a Director, Denise Mirandah has played a major role in the international promotion of the company, helping to share the family values of Mirandah Asia and its successful one-stop shop approach to IP with clients all over the world.

Denise has had a passion for IP from an early age and, as the daughter of Patrick and Gladys Mirandah, grew up in a household where IP was discussed regularly. She studied her Bachelor of Laws at the prestigious Cambridge University in the UK. There, she underwent rigorous academic training with the world’s most eminent legal minds, including Professor Bill Cornish, a renowned authority on IP law.

During her summer holidays, she attended Harvard University in the US to hone her drafting skills and familiarise herself with the American legal system, voluntarily working as part of Harvard’s pro bono programme in Boston.

Denise has been admitted to the Bar in Singapore since 2009, and in Brunei as of 2017.

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