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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Singapore trails behind EU as world's most innovative IP office

The European Union’s consistent online tools allowed it to retain first place.

Singapore lagged the European Union (EU) as the world’s most innovative intellectual property (IP) office, according to the third edition of the World Trademark Review’s (WTR) annual IP Office Innovation Ranking study.

Singapore shared second place with Chile and Spain, followed by UK, joint sixth placers Mexico, Russia, South Korea, as well as Switzerland, France, Philippines and Turkey.

The report, which looked at IP offices across 50 countries, found that Singapore’s top class IP regime allows the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) to nurture more intangible asset rich enterprises, and develop Singapore as a place for innovative enterprises to scale up and access Asian growth markets.

WTR also described IPOS, which was also a runner up in its inaugural study in 2017, as an innovation agency that “has a strong focus on providing education and support in business development.”

“In 2018, intangible asset value overtook the value of tangible assets for the first time in history,” IPOS’s chief executive Daren Tang said in a statement. “IPOS made significant headways in extending its IP expertise to support enterprises leverage on their intangible assets to grow, and forging new partnerships and networks to entrench Singapore as an IP hub in Asia.”

In April 2018, IPOS launched its FinTech Fast Track initiative to support FinTech businesses from anywhere in the world to bring their IP to the market more speedily, through an accelerated patent-to-grant process in as fast as six months as compared to two years for normal patent applications. In December 2018, IPOS granted the first accelerated patent under this initiative to Voyager Innovations, a technology company based in ASEAN.

Similarly in September 2018, IPOS’ enterprise engagement arm IP ValueLab signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Administrative Committee and Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City Investment and Development Co. to set up an International IP Innovation Service Centre in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City.

The innovation centre will reportedly enable enterprises from both countries to use Singapore and Guangzhou as bases to access IP expertise, anchor and commercialise their IP and access key markets in ASEAN and the Greater Bay Area.

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