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Enforcement of IPRs in Singapore


Enforcement of IPRs
The causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Singapore are as follows:
  • Counterfeit goods are often available at a fraction of the cost of brand name goods.
  • People just want the utility of products whether they are real or fake.
  • >Ease of acquiring counterfeits.
The most common counterfeit goods are bags, clothing, perfumes, and shoes from luxury brands.
They are as follows:
  • The Copyright Act (Cap 63, 2006 Rev Ed) (the “CA”)
  • The Registered Designs Act (Cap 266, 2005 Rev Ed) (the “RDA”)
  • The Patents Act (Cap 221, 2005 Rev Ed) (the “PA”)
  • The Trade Marks Act (Cap 332, 2005 Rev Ed) (the “TMA”)
Patents, copyright, TM, designs are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Singapore.
The only prerequisites are a valid registered trademark and an appointment of a local law firm holding authority on behalf of the trademark proprietor. Such authority can be provided in the form of a simple signed letter and does not require legalization or notarization.
It is important to note that since the success of the enforcement action depends a great deal on the accuracy of the investigation results, it is prudent to devote sufficient resources in ensuring good quality of the investigation. Therefore, conducting a good investigation and making trap purchases are integral.
A) Government Authorities - No
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Other civil remedies in Singapore are as follows:
The erasure, removal, or obliteration of the offending sign or mark;
  • Delivery up and/or disposal of goods, materials and articles.
The trial for infringement actions is likely to be concluded within 18 months of the date the action is commenced (filing of the writ of summons).
A) Responsible Authority - Courts
B) Imprisonment Term - Maximum term of 05 years
C) Monetary Fine - up to S$10,000 per work and S$200,000 in the aggregate for copyright; up to S$1 million without proof of actual loss for TM
The option of ADR is left to the parties under the terms of the contract. The WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre has an office in Singapore and it is a neutral, international, and non-profit organisation that offers alternative dispute resolution options to enable private parties to efficiently settle their domestic or cross-border IP disputes. The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that provides facilities for arbitration, and has a specialised IP Panel of arbitrators to hear IP disputes. The SIAC Rules are efficient, cost-effective, and flexible, and incorporate features from civil and common law legal systems.
Remedies available under border control measures include the seizure and destruction of goods.
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
In many cases, however, private mediation via legal professionals is more effective and should be considered as a viable option, particularly for SMEs that often are faced with budgetary constraints.
Unlike in most ASEAN countries, there are no administrative actions available in Singapore; therefore, immediate action may be an issue.