Dispute Resolution

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.




In intellectual property suits, a court may order the following relief to a successful Plaintiff:


  1. an injunction to restrain the Defendant from continuing its infringing activities;
  2. an order for delivery up of infringing items;
  3. an inquiry as to damages or an account of profits, and in appropriate cases an inquiry for additional damages (i.e. punitive damages);
  4. an order for full discovery; and
  5. costs.




In appropriate cases, even before judgment is rendered a Plaintiff may seek an interlocutory injunction to restrain the Defendant from continuing the acts complained. Also in appropriate cases, the Plaintiff may obtain an Anton Piller order (an order to search and seize incriminating evidence) or a Mareva Injunction (an order to freeze assets)


Duration of civil hearings


Trials of suits are generally heard between one to one and a half years from the commencement of the suit.


Criminal proceedings


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 Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Singapore provides Alternative Dispute Resolution options for the resolution of intellectual property disputes.


The Singapore International Arbitration Chambers also provides Arbitration services.


Domain name disputes


Domain name disputes for the .sg country code top-level domain may be resolved through the Singapore Domain Name Dispute Resolution process. Domain name disputes for other types of top level domains may be resolved through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Process. If the claimant is successful, the panel may order that the domain name be canceled or transferred to the claimant.