In Singapore, copyright law is governed by the Singapore Copyright Act (Chapter 63). Software falls within the scope of a ‘literary work’. Like Australia, copyright is automatically granted without the need for registration. 

If you are introducing ICT products to Singapore you can establish evidence of ownership of your copyright with the following steps:

  • insert a copyright notice in prominent parts of the work
  • give a copy of the software code or other copyright work to a recognised repository or lawyers
  • enclose a copy of the copyright work in a sealed envelope with the date stamp clearly visible and post it to yourself
  • execute a declaration before a Notary Public or a Commissioner for Oaths
  • add the copyright symbol © at prominent places of the work.

While the copyright symbol does not confer substantive rights, it serves as notice to the public that the work is subject to copyright protection.

Enforcing your copyright

To prove copyright infringement you will need to show the following criteria:

  • the copyright work is from a country recognised under Singaporean copyright regulations (which includes Australia)causal connection (ie access, reference or actual copying of the work)
  • substantive part of the work.

One practical way you can prove unauthorised copying is to strategically insert inoperative or ‘junk’ code in the software. If an infringer copies the junk code, it can prove a causal connection and the substantiality element.


Fintech Fast Track (FTFT) Initiative

The FTFT Initiative began 26 April 2018 and is expected to last for one year. It aims to promote and advance financial technology innovations by enabling a patent applicant to fast track the file-to-grant process from an average of 24 months from the date of filing to 6 months.

Did you know you can request for your patent application to be expedited in Australia as well? It’s not just fintech applications either – see the criteria here.