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Singapore: IPOS signs MoU with SIPO and Guangdong

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) and the Guangdong provincial government, which will further strengthen collaboration between Singapore and China and boost innovation and IP protection in both jurisdictions.

This MoU signed in February 2017 follows the opening of IPOS's representative office in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC), Guangdong, China in 2016. The representative office connects IP service providers in Singapore with high-technology enterprises in China to help these enterprises protect and manage IP in the south-east Asian region and beyond.

The MoU establishes a Tripartite Cooperation Framework, which leverages the development of the SSGKC as a model for IP reform. The Framework seeks to identify opportunities for cooperation to support Singaporean and Chinese business in the protection, promotion and commercialisation of their IP in economies under China's Belt and Road initiative.

The Framework also enables IPOS to facilitate linking up leading Singaporean IP service providers with innovative Chinese start-ups and high-technology enterprises, host high-level IP conferences and provide specialised training in IP management.

Under the Framework, Singapore is also poised to become the gateway for Chinese tech-companies to bring their IP into south-east Asia and beyond, bringing Singapore a step closer to becoming an IP hub in the south-east Asian region.

When discussing the Framework, Chief Executive of IPOS Daren Tang noted:

Asia is driving much of the world's innovation activity. This Cooperation Framework will allow Singapore to contribute to the development of China's IP and innovation ecosystem, and encourage innovative Chinese companies to use Singapore as a base for launching their products and services in south-east Asia and beyond. We are delighted to work with our partners to build SSGKC into a centre for Singapore companies to engage with the vibrant and fast-growing community of innovative Chinese companies, and as a platform for Singapore service providers seeking to service such companies in China.

According to the World Intellectual Property Indicator 2016 – Economics & Statistics Series issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization, applicants from China filed 1,010,406 patent applications in 2015, the highest number in the world. However, Chinese applicants only filed 42,154 applications abroad in that year. In comparison, applicants from the United States filed 526,296 patent applications in the same year with 237,961 applications filed outside the US.

This is a sign that Chinese innovators are keeping much of their IP within their home country and there exists potential for Chinese companies to derive additional value from their IP by launching their innovations into the global arena.

Daniel CollopyLim Ming Wei

Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd
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Singapore 189721
Tel: +65 6333 7200
Fax: +65 6333 7222

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