Fast track for FinTech -IPOS expedites prosecution for FinTech Patent applications
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has recently announced a FinTech Fast Track (FTFT) initiative which provides a mechanism whereby patent applications which are within the FinTech space may be granted within 6 months from date of filing. This announcement is in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation Agenda where FinTech has been highlighted as a key focus area for growth to establish Singapore as the region’s financial hub. The FTFT initiative highlights Singapore’s commitment to encourage innovation within the FinTech space.
The FTFT initiative is available to any FinTech application filed from 26 April 2018 providing the application meets the following requirements:
- First filed in Singapore
- Max 20 claims
- The PF1 form (Request for Grant of Patent) & PF11 form (Request for Search and Examination) must be filed on same day
- 2 weeks to respond to any formalities objections
- 2 months to respond to objections in a Written Opinion
The timeline, from filing to grant, of a patent application under the FTFT initiative is estimated to be 6 months. One of the reasons for introducing this initiative is to provide an accelerated service particularly for FinTech patents which are deemed to have a shorter life cycle. The normal requirements for patentability apply for FinTech patent applications filed through the FTFT initiative.
As a guide, FinTech patents may be defined as those which fall within the International Patent Classification G06Q 20/00 (Payment architectures, schemes or protocols) and G06Q 40/00 (Finance; Insurance; Tax strategies; & Processing of corporate or income taxes). For example, some areas of FinTech include electronic payments, investment platforms insurance technology, blockchain and banking and security, fraud and authentication.
No additional fees are required to opt for the FTFT initiative. This demonstrates the government’s intention to support the FinTech community. Separately, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced the launch of a new FinTech innovation hub to facilitate growth of Start-Ups and FinTech companies in Singapore.
This FTFT initiative reinforces Singapore’s drive to strengthen the innovation culture in the FinTech space as well as its commitment to provide support to Start-Ups and FinTech companies to grow.