Singapore to Speed Up Blockchain Patent Approvals
Singapore’s Intellectual Property Office announced an initiative to expedite the patent-granting process for fintech-related applications such as blockchain-based payments.
According to a statement from the Office, the FinTech Fast Track initiative seeks to shorten that process from about two years to as little as six months. The program was announced during the 2018 World Intellectual Property Day on Thursday by Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Education.
In defining how an application can fall under the fintech category, the IP office suggested in an appendix that a technology that utilises blockchain to facilitate banking payments will be eligible.
The statement said:
“The incorporation of blockchain technology to improve the security and efficiency of clearing and settlement across borders for transaction and payment is deemed as a Fintech invention.”
The Office also requires the blockchain patent applicants to file documents first in Singapore with less than 20 claims in one application in order to be eligible for the fast-track initiative, among other criteria.
The move marks yet another notable effort taken by the Singapore government to promote the application of blockchain tech as part of its wider push for the city-state’s fintech development.
Currently, the Monetary Authority of Singapore – the de facto central bank – spearheads a cross-border payment system concept built on a blockchain platform called Project Ubin, in partnership with its Canadian counterpart.
The new initiative comes just weeks after the Singapore government launched a blockchain competition with government funding in a bid to reward and select successful blockchain startups.