About Patents

 NUS ILO helps you to protect your research and technology and inventions via trademarks, registered designs, copyright, know-how, trade secrets and patents.
What makes an invention patentable?
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.
How does a Patent help in protecting my invention?
Having a patent for your invention does not give you the right to practice an invention, however it does give you the right to exclude others from doing so.

When the patent is in place, a patent holder or licensee can exclude competitors from making and selling products similar to the patented idea of your invention.
How long does a Patent last?
Typically, the patent will last about 20 years from the date of filing and varies in different countries.
Can Early Disclosure of an Invention Compromise the Right to Protect My Invention?
In most countries, the right of patent protection will be lost or jeopardised if a public disclosure was made prior to the filing of a patent application.

A public disclosure on the information about the invention is made when the information becomes readily available to the public and that information 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 includes 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.
When and how do I contact NUS ILO?
Please write to NUS ILO at iloquery@nus.edu.sg to discuss further if you have an idea or innovation with commercial potential.

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.