Jurisdiction of Civil Courts
Civil suits under the Trademarks, Patents and Registered Designs Acts are required to be commenced at the High Court of Singapore. Copyright, passing off and breach of confidential information civil suits may be commenced at either the High Court or the Subordinate Courts dependent on the value of the claim. Decisions of a lower court may be appealed to a higher court with the Court of Appeal being the final appellate court.
Disputes concerning registered intellectual property rights may also be resolved before the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore with appeals therefrom to the High Court.
In intellectual property suits, a court may order the following relief to a successful Plaintiff:
- an injunction to restrain the Defendant from continuing its infringing activities;
- an order for delivery up of infringing items;
- an inquiry as to damages or an account of profits, and in appropriate cases an inquiry for additional damages (i.e. exemplary or punitive damages);
- an order for full discovery; and
In appropriate cases, even before judgment is rendered a Plaintiff may seek an interlocutory or interim injunction to restrain the Defendant from continuing the acts complained. Also in appropriate cases, the Plaintiff may obtain Search Order (to search and seize incriminating evidence that face the prospect of imminent destruction) or a Mareva Injunction (an order to prevent the dissipation of assets)
Duration of civil hearings
Trials of suits are generally heard between 18 to 24 months from the commencement of the suit.
A proprietor may commence criminal proceedings against an infringer for offences under the Trademarks and Copyright Acts under a fiat from the Attorney-General’s chambers. An accused may be sentenced to imprisonment or a fine for offences under the Trademarks and Copyright Acts if found guilty.
Arbitration and Mediation
The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Centre and the Singapore Mediation Centre provide Alternative Dispute Resolution options for the resolution of intellectual property disputes. These are in addition to the Singapore International Arbitration Chambers (SIAC), which also provides arbitration services.
Conducting in-house online investigations into infringement of client's IP rights; including issuing cease and desist letters to online infringers and/or issuing takedown notices to online platforms.
Preparing and filing civil cases and having conduct of trials at the Subordinate Court and High Court; submitting on points of law at the Court of Appeal; applying for preliminary injunctions in urgent matters;
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Instituting and having conduct of Arbitration and/or mediation proceedings;
Domain Name Dispute Resolution
Seeking the retrieval or cancellation of domain names through the Singapore Domain Name Resolution Policy or the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy procedures.