I have an Invention!

Where do I start?


What next?

After receiving your invention disclosure, a reference number will be allocated and an email acknowledgement confirming receipt will be sent. This usually takes less than a week.

Following that, one of our professional staff will arrange to meet and discuss your invention with you within 90 days from the submission of your invention disclosure.

How does ILO decide on whether to file a patent or not?

The decision on whether to commit University financial resources to seek patent protection is based on the following three criteria:

  1. Patentability
  2. Commercial potential
  3. Due diligence of inventors

Three criteria must be satisfied for a patent to be issued and they are:

  • Novelty Requirement The invention must not have been made known to the public.
  • Non-Obviousness Requirement The invention must not be obvious to a worker ordinarily skilled in the same technology.
  • Usefulness Requirement The invention must have some useful functions.
In which country does NUS seek patent protection for the invention?

By law, the patent application must first be filed in Singapore. However, depending on necessity, a special waiver can be obtained for the patent to be filed elsewhere before it is filed in Singapore.

We also pursue patent protection in countries where the invention is most likely to be commercialised and this usually means the United States. We may also file a patent under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) to reserve our rights to pursue foreign protection in the future.

Who makes the decision to seek patent protection?

The professional staff at ILO, in consultation with you, will decide whether to commit a significant amount of the University's financial resources to seek patent protection.

Your invention disclosure will be referred to a panel of internal and external reviewers for the assessment of its technical merits and commercial potential. This is a business decision and does not reflect on the academic merit of your disclosure.

Who drafts the patent application?

We engage a patent attorney to do the final draft of the patent application. However, this requires a considerable amount of time and commitment on your part during the patent application process. Our professional staff will help you gather the necessary information for the first draft of the patent application. However, remember only you can tell us what the invention is.

How long does it take to file a patent?

From the time a decision is made to seek patent protection, it usually takes between six and 12 weeks to produce a satisfactory draft for filing depending on the schedule of the patent attorney and the complexity of the invention.

How long does it take for a patent to be granted?

In the US, it takes, on the average, about 18 months from the time of filing for a patent to be granted. In other countries, including Singapore, it may take between two and five years.

How long do patent rights last?

In general, patent rights expire 20 years from the date of filing.

Who owns the invention and patent rights?

All intellectual property developed as part of a University member's duties or developed with substantial use of University resources belongs to the University. However, the University has a generous royalty sharing scheme to reward the inventor. In general, all patent applications are filed with the staff member as inventors and the University as the applicant.