About Patents

ILO can protect your intellectual property—research, technology and inventions—through trademarks, registered designs, copyright, know-how, trade secrets, and patents.

An invention must fulfill the following three criteria in order to be considered patentable:

The invention must be new and original. An invention is not considered novel if it has been known, practiced, published, or disclosed by others anywhere in the world before the date the invention was filed by the applicant.

The invention must not, at the time it was filed, be considered obvious to a person of “ordinary skill” in the field of the invention.

The invention must be useful, i.e., it must have a practical application.

Having a patent for your invention does not give you the right to practice an invention, but it does give you the right to exclude others from doing so. During the time a patent is in place, a patent holder or licensee can exclude competitors from making and selling products similar to the patented idea of invention.

The typical lifetime of a patent is 20 years from the date of filing.

In most countries, the right of patent protection is lost or jeopardised if a public disclosure is made prior to the filing of a patent application.

A public disclosure is information about the invention that is readily available to the public and that is “enabling” (i.e., describing a technology in such detail that someone else in the field would be able to make and use the invention).

Common modes of public disclosure include: publications, lectures, published abstracts and posters, conferences and symposia, theses and dissertations.

We, therefore, urge you to contact our office well in advance of an impending public disclosure. We will work with you to evaluate and protect your invention without affecting the timeline of a potential publication.

If you have an invention to disclose, please complete the form here. After it is received by our office, one of our colleagues will schedule a meeting with you to further discuss the invention.

After conducting a review of the technology to determine patentability and feasibility of commercialisation, they will provide a recommendation for the appropriate course of action.

Useful Resources

Please click on the following links for more detailed information about intellectual property protection and patents:

World Intellectual Property Organization – a comprehensive database of internationally-filed patents.

U.S. Patents and Trademark Office - for information on the patenting process and filing applications in the United States.

SMART Innovation Centre - for information on intellectual property related to the SMART Centre.

Drug Development Unit (DDU) - a resource for NUS researchers to assist in the development of drug candidates.