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The New IP Dispute Resolution Law 2019 in Singapore

The New IP Dispute Resolution Law 2019 in Singapore

The law on Intellectual Property (Dispute Resolution) Bill 2019, it is the first time in legal history of the Singaporean Parliament that an exclusive IP dispute bill is been introduced.

This Bill attempts to change the IP dispute resolution picture in Singapore and: -

  1. bolster the IP regime to support innovation in Singapore and
  2. make Singapore a hub for international IP dispute resolution.

This Bill has been assented by the President and Intellectual Property (Dispute Resolution) Act 2019 will come into operation on 21 November 2019.

The Parts 1, 4, 10 as well as the sections 5, 9, 12, 20 (b), (e), and (i), 21, 22(c) and (d), 26, 29 and 33 of the Act would come into effect immediately on the declared date. The other sections of the same Act would come into effect from a date to be notified.

The IP Disputes Bill would cover:

  1. IP disputes can be arbitrated in Singapore and arbitral awards have an effect only on the parties to the arbitration.
  2. Currently, only the High Court has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes with regards to IP rights. This new amendment would provide the High Court exclusive jurisdiction over all IP infringement matters inclusive of the non-registrable IP rights e.g. passing-off matters and irrespective of the sum in dispute.
  3. Fast track dispute resolution as the law provides for abridged proceedings and caps on costs and damages would keep the costs of the matter down and would cater to petty value disputes as well as cost-sensitive litigants
  4. Under the new law, both the High Court and Intellectual Property Office (IPO) could grant certificate of contested validity for the registered trademarks, designs and geographical indications respectively. The effect is that if the registered IP is challenged and proves unsuccessful then registered proprietor is entitled to recover his cost from the opposite party.

Therefore, this law shall be watershed in the sense that it would prove to consolidating Singapore as a paradise for IP disputes.