Citation(2012) 24 SAcLJ 595
Published date01 December 2012
Date01 December 2012

1 Singapore has always been a wonder to visitors, particularly those who have come to the island at different times over many years: enormous developments in industry and technology, science and research, architecture and infrastructure, culture and communications reveal a society of high dynamism and ambition. Nothing stands still, and on each visit one finds some new achievement to behold and bedazzle. Such matters are not confined to the immediate physical environment (although some new projects are certainly stunning), but are also reflected in the surrounding economic, social and cultural milieus. These changes are supported in turn by a legal system that marries a rich tradition of common law jurisprudence with policy and statutory innovation of a high order. This is particularly so in the area of intellectual property (“IP”), as the articles in this special issue will demonstrate. All contributors are either from Singapore or have had significant links with the Republic, either academically or professionally. While a number of contributions focus on particular developments in Singapore's IP laws, in each instance this is done with a careful eye to trends occurring elsewhere, whether in other comparable legal systems or internationally. Other contributions deal with issues that, while more international or comparative in nature, have strong relevance to Singapore and which will also be of great interest to readers of any nationality.

2 Beginning with patents, Stanley Lai SC deals with the vexed question of inventive step and how this is to be tested. UK law remains relevant here (as well as that of Australia), but the Singapore courts have made their own distinctive contributions, which Stanley describes and analyses with some care. He concludes with a proposal for a more delicately nuanced approach that brings together a number of different factors that will clearly be of assistance to courts in any common law jurisdiction in making the peculiarly difficult determination of whether a particular technical step that has been taken is inventive or is simply “obvious”.

3 In the same vein, Elizabeth Ng considers the question of remedies for patent infringement, particularly in an age when patent litigation is undergoing a sea change in cases where multiple patents are involved. Unscrambling the mixture here can become extremely complicated, especially where there is the suspicion of speculative or vexatious proceedings at the instance of a “patent...

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