Highlights of the Singapore Intellectual Property Act 2004

The Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2004, which came into force on 1 July 2004, incorporates significant changes to, among other things, the following copyright-related legislation, in line with Singapore's commitments under the United States of America - Singapore Free-Trade Agreement (USSFTA):

Copyright Act (Chapter 63, 1999 Edition)

Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act (Chapter 159A, 2000 Edition)

The salient features of the amendments include the extension of the copyright monopoly period for original works and certain subject matter other than works by an additional 20 years, as well as the relaxation of rules governing the enforcement of exclusive licences for layout-designs of integrated circuits.

Copyright: Duration of Protection.

Briefly, the duration of copyright monopoly has generally been extended as follows:

For literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works (other than photographs) - copyright will subsist for the life of the author plus 70 years (previously: 50 years).

For photographs, copyright will subsist until the expiration of 70 years (previously: 50 years) after the end of the year of first publication of the photograph.

For subject matter other than works, such as sound recordings, cinematograph films and live performances, but excluding broadcasts, cable programs and published editions of works, copyright will subsist until the expiration of 70 years (previously: 50 years) after the end of the year of first publication of the subject matter.

These amendments apply only to:

copyright arising on or after 1 July 2004;

copyright that had arisen before 1 July 2004 and had not fallen into the public domain owing to the expiration of the original monopoly period as of 1 July 2004; and

foreign copyright in works or other subject matter that qualify for protection in Singapore by virtue of the Copyright (International Protection) Regulations, including copyright that had arisen before 1 July 2004, provided the work or subject matter in question was still...

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