The Intellectual Property Offices of Singapore (IPOS) and Vietnam (IPVN) have launched a Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) pilot to accelerate patent search and examination for applicants looking to file in both countries. The pilot will run for two years from 1 March 2023 to 28 February 2025.

Under the pilot, an applicant may initiate an application at either IPOS or IPVN and request for CS&E during search and examination at that office (the first office of filing). The first office will issue a CS&E report containing search and examination findings from the second office. The applicant may use the report to decide whether to pursue a corresponding application at the second office. Search and examination at the second office will be prioritised if the applicant makes a corresponding application within 2 months of the CS&E report.

The following restrictions apply for a CS&E request:

  • it is only applicable for a first filing at IPOS or IPVN (not divisional or PCT national phase applications);
  • the number of claims in each application must not exceed 20, with a maximum of three independent claims;
  • the two offices have capped the total number of requests to 20 per year and 4 per month; and
  • each applicant is entitled to two requests per month.

The CS&E programme is the first of its kind in ASEAN and reflects ongoing efforts within the ASEAN IP Offices to streamline work processes and lower barriers for regional filings. Participants in the pilot can defer filing at IPOS or IPVN until they have obtained a CS&E report from that office. Applicants also benefit from an accelerated search and examination timeline at both offices under the pilot.

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