Patent grants take at least two to four years to be granted. Some span even longer. But that’s not the case for Voyager Innovations, a technology company based in ASEAN. Under the Intellectual Property Office Singapore’s (IPOS) FinTech Fast Track initiative, the company’s patent was granted in a short span of seven months from application to grant.
Using distributed ledger technology, Voyager’s innovation allows audiences at an onsite or offsite live event to participate in real-time activities using an app. These might include surveys or prize draws.
The capabilities of this digital marketing technology are made possible by combining event-specific location data, event-defined behaviours, as well as secondary sensing data such as the participants’ movement and position of their mobile devices.
Over 1200 FinTech enterprises in Singapore and the region can tap on IPOS’ FinTech Fast Track accelerated process to bring their FinTech ideas to market in a shorter period. The accelerated patent application-to-grant process comes at no additional cost and is open to any FinTech enterprises anywhere in the world if they file through IPOS.
How to Fast Track
For FinTech companies, gaining a competitive edge in a fast-paced industry demands gaining clarity about their patent strength within a matter of months. Waiting for years is undesirable. So how did Voyager Innovations accelerate the patent process?
Elucidated nicely in a flow chart of six steps, if no issues are found, a patent grant is issued to an applicant under the FinTech Fast Track process.
The media release notes additional details which must be adhered to.
Foremost, FinTech inventions are scoped to technology applied in financial-related services or used to help companies manage the financial aspects of their business. Areas might include, but are not limited to, electronic payment, investment platforms, insurance technology, blockchain and banking, and security, fraud and authentication.
FinTech inventions could also involve alternative due diligence, virtual exchanges and smart contracts, as well as market information platforms among others. Enabling technologies, such as data analytics, Internet-of Things (IOT), mobile platforms, cloud computing, artificial intelligence/machine learning and cryptocurrency, are usually used in FinTech in order to improve the provision of financial services.
Next, enterprises must file the application in Singapore first. The request for grant of patent and request for search and examination report forms must be filed on the same day as well. Applicants should note that claims should contain twenty or fewer claims.
Once a receipt of formalities examination adverse report has been sent, applicants must respond within two weeks from its date.
Upon the receipt of written opinion, applicants should also respond within two months.
When submitting the request for search and examination report form, a supporting document, “Fast Track”, which states that the application is related to FinTech should be appended.
A list of other criteria are listed here.
Singapore a FinTech Hub
Singapore presents itself as hub for FinTech businesses.
In 2016, investments in ASEAN’s FinTech sector increased by 33% to USD 252 million. Globally, 12 058 FinTech patents are published in 2018, almost surpassing 2017’s record of 13 592 patents.
Enterprises can also leverage on IPOS’ extensive network of agreements to fast track patents into ASEAN and partner countries.
This allows innovators to use Singapore as a base to bring their FinTech ideas, IP and solutions to ASEAN markets and beyond quickly and efficiently.
Daren Tang, Chief Executive of IPOS, said, “Singapore already has all the ingredients for a vibrant innovation ecosystem. Our broad IP network reaches out to over 70 countries which account for more than 90 per cent of global GDP. Complemented with a world-class financial services infrastructure and business-friendly regulatory policies, Singapore is well placed for FinTech enterprises to commercialise their IP into the fast-growing ASEAN region. Beyond the FinTech Fast Track initiative, we will continue to explore and introduce more initiatives to help innovation-driven enterprises use Singapore as a base for taking their ideas and IP to the market.”