What is a patent?
A patent grants the owner of an invention the right to exclude others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without his consent. This product can also be a process or method of making an item. The patent lasts for 20 years and needs to be renewed after that period. It is governed by the Patents Act in Singapore.
It is thus an infringement of a patent to make, use or import the product without consent from the owner of the patent. The court may grant
- An injunction to prevent the Defendant from continuing the infringement
- An order to destroy the product which has its patent infringed upon
- Damages for the act of infringement
- An account of the profits earned by the Defendant from the infringement
- Declaration that the patent is valid and has been infringed
No damages shall be awarded if the Defendant can prove that at the time of infringement he was not aware of the patented product and had no reasonable grounds for supposing that the patent existed.
It is also a criminal offence to falsify an entry in the register or falsely represent to the court that the product he owns possesses a patent. The former carries a $5,000 fine and imprionsment term of 12 months and the latter carries a $10,000 fine and imprisonment term of 12 months as well.
Cheating offences are governed under Chapter 224 of Singapore’s Penal Code, sections 415 to 420.
Cheating is defined in Section 415 as dishonestly inducing a person to hand over any property or consent to hand over any property. It is also an act of deceiving a person to do or omit to do something that he would not have done if not he was not deceived, and this act was likely to have caused harm to a person’s body, mind, reputation or property.
Under Section 417, offenders may be punished with a jail term up of to 3 years, or a fine or both.
Section 420 covers more aggravated instances of cheating where a person changes or destroys any part of a valuable security will be punished with an imprisonment term up to ten years and fined.