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Intellectual property office designs future strategy as filings surge

SINGAPORE — With the Republic pursuing a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to further develop the intellectual property (IP) ecosystem here, amid a rapid growth in filings powered by increased business opportunities from China and other emerging global markets.

SINGAPORE — With the Republic pursuing a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to further develop the intellectual property (IP) ecosystem here, amid a rapid growth in filings powered by increased business opportunities from China and other emerging global markets.

A record number of patents and trademarks were filed in Singapore last year, said IPOS.

Patent filings in the Republic grew 4.9 per cent last year with 10,814 applications, while trademark applications rose 9 per cent to 44,203 filings.

“IP filings internationally as well as in Singapore are at the highest-ever mark,” said Mr Daren Tang, chief executive of IPOS.

“Governments are looking at IP as critical to economic growth and development and it is becoming an integral part of an economy’s overall strategy,” he added.

International patent filing applications in 2014 stood at 2.68 million, up 4.5 per cent against the previous year, while trademark filings at 7.44 million were up 6 per cent.

Global IP filings growth, said Mr Tang, was largely driven by Asia, particularly in China, Japan, Korea and even Singapore.

The IPOS over the next two years will enhance focus on making it easier for businesses here to file for IP protection, and place greater emphasis on law enforcement.

Initiatives are under way to ease and take the entire process of patent filings online.

IPOS, with an aim to further develop the IP landscape in Singapore, is encouraging Singaporean businesses to have an IP strategy embedded in their business models in a way that they are able to create value and monetise their IP assets, be it in the form of technology, brands or content.

In the process, IPOS will also help build expertise with dedicated academic courses to support the nation’s push towards innovation-led value creation.

“IP is not about just protection any more. If you want to take your products and services to the world, you need to integrate IP as a part of your business strategy.

“Most companies and start-ups understand that. Over the next few years we will share awareness on this, create a conducive environment where IP is understood and practised.

“We will also encourage manpower and skills development to support this drive,” said Mr Tang, at an appreciation event organised by IPOS yesterday to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day.

The resurgence of investment interest in the region, with the Association of South-east Asian Nations set to be the world’s fourth-largest economy, will translate into big business opportunities for Singaporean companies, said Mr Tang.

With an integrated IP strategy in their business models, firms here will be better poised to cash in, he added.

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