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Singapore: Shaping Asia’s IP landscape

Since April 2013, Singapore has been developing itself as a Global IP Hub in Asia that services the needs of IP companies and facilitates the development and growth of the IP landscape in Asia. As part of its efforts to become a conducive environment for IP activities, various initiatives and programmes have been launched to develop Singapore's IP infrastructure, expertise and ecosystem. These include:

  • Launch of an IP financing scheme;
  • Launch of an IP advisory service for business owners;
  • Extension of Singapore's patent prosecution highway network; and
  • Strengthening the country's patent search & examination capabilities.

Recently, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) organized IP Week @ SG, with the theme "Building a Competitive Edge with Intellectual Property'. The event attracted more than 1,000 participants from more than 30 countries with diverse backgrounds ranging from business, finance, science, engineering and law.

In line with IP Week @ SG, IP ValueLab was launched. IP ValueLab seeks to promote and develop IP management and strategy, IP commercialisation and monetisation, and IP valuation in Singapore. One of the functions of IP ValueLab is to provide companies and investors with valuation advice to monetise their IP assets. It also seeks to provide a platform for researchers and academics to collaborate on research as well as give advice in IP valuation methodologies and best practices.

IPOS has also recently renewed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Under the MoC, it is aimed that the relationship between the two patent offices will strengthen, thereby generating greater mutual trade flow and better understanding of each other's best practices in substantive examination, human resource development, IP systems and quality management.

Furthermore, Singapore has been actively working to expedite patent examination at IPOS and throughout the region. IPOS is an active proponent of ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) for accelerating regional prosecution and is expanding its Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) network. Beginning from November 1 2014, the number of PPH partners that Singapore has will increase four-fold, from five countries to 20 countries. Singapore's PPH partners at present are: the United States, China, Japan, Korea and Mexico. After November 1 2014, the additional PPH partners will include: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Russia and Sweden.

With ASPEC, GPPH and IPOS's pledge to reduce prosecution pendency to a year or less, a major incentive for companies that file patent applications in Singapore will be the possibility of the claimed invention entering major markets in less than 50% of the time taken previously, which works out to be a difference of about two to three years. In addition, the IP ValueLab and other IP monetisation and IP financing schemes are creating an IP receptive business environment in Singapore and throughout the region.

Dan Collopy Wendy Leong

Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd
152 Beach Road
#37-05/06 Gateway East
Singapore 189721
Tel: +65 6333 7200
Fax: +65 6333 7222



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