The Singapore Intellectual Property Strategy (SIPS) 2030 announced earlier this year on World Intellectual Property Day on the 26th April 2021, is a national strategy that supports enterprises and the wider innovation community. The SIPS 2030 is built on Singapore’s 2013 IP Hub Master Plan and 2017 updates, in which it aims to maintain Singapore’s top position as a top-ranked IP regime by ensuring a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, protect, manage and transact their intangible assets (IA) and intellectual property (IP). The SIPS 2030 is coordinated at the whole-
Since the 2013 IP Hub Master Plan, Singapore has made great strides in developing an IP ecosystem that supports innovation activities, and is well-connected to the global markets. Additionally, the global economy has evolved significantly, whereby IA and IP have significantly increased in prominence as one of the key drivers of economic growth. As a result, enterprises need to be equipped with the tools and the know-how to manage their IA/IP more effectively for growth. The SIPS 2030 comprises of three main focus areas, each for addressing a different aspect of Singapore’s economy – i.e. supporting international activities, growing local enterprises and building a high-calibre workforce.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
So, what does this mean for businesses looking for protection of their IA/IP in Singapore in view of the SIPS 2030?
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Innovations
With immense growth in the generation and collection of data which fuels innovations such as machine learning, Singapore is introducing an exception for computational data analysis in their Copyright Bill which allows copyrighted works to be used for purposes such as text and data mining, data analytics, and machine learning.
In order to cater to the fast-paced nature of digital and AI innovations, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has initiated two application-to-grant acceleration programmes, particularly the “12 Months File-to-Grant Programme” and the “SG Patent Fast Track Programme” which replaces the previously launched FinTech Fast Track and Accelerated Initiative. The SG Patent Fast Track Programme is set to run until 29th April 2022.
Global IP Hub
Singapore aims to empower innovators and creators through digitalisation with several initiatives which include:
- A next generation IP filing system, targeted to launch by mid-2022, to ease filings and provide analytical insights for innovators and enterprises.
- Establish Singapore as an IP dispute resolution hub by continuing to strengthen IP dispute resolution capabilities through working with law schools and professional training providers, developing a pool of technical experts, and promoting Singapore’s IP resolution offerings globally.
- Set up a new online platform, dubbed IP Grow, to provide an online marketplace for IA/IP services, enabling enterprises to access resources and services to aid them along their innovation journey in Singapore and abroad.
- IPOS is also studying other approaches to managing IA, such as digital time-stamping services such as WIPO PROOF in relation to trade secrets and other non-registrable digital assets.
Singapore is well-positioned as a node to facilitate protection of innovations both locally and overseas, particularly in relation to patents. As IPOS is part of the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) arrangement, this enables work-sharing arrangements to be conducted between 26 other participating patent offices. This allows businesses to use patent search and examination reports, including search and/or examination results under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), from an earlier patent office to accelerate the patent prosecution in another jurisdiction.
IP AS A BUSINESS ENABLER
The SIPS 2030 aims to help enterprises realise that IP is not simply just a legal construct, but a business enabler to take ideas and new products and/or services to the market. Through the SIPS 2030, enterprises are able to have increased access to IA/IP advisory and related services. Enterprises may also build their IA/IP awareness from public/private partnerships through initiatives such as the Workforce for IP-Savvy Enterprises (WISE) and Growing with Resilience through InTangibles (GRIT). Besides that, the SIPS 2030 also aims to provide a safe and reliable IA/IP Valuation Ecosystem. Given the importance of reliable valuation of IA/IP assets for related transactions such as licensing, technology transfer and collaterisation, SIPS 2030 aims to develop a credible and trusted IA/IP valuation and financial
SKILL DEVELOPMENT IN IA/IP
One of the important pillars of the SIPS 2030 strategic plan is to be build up an IA/IP-savvy workplace. Institutes of Technical Education. Programmes will be launched in higher-learning institutes to nurture the next generation of IA/IP-savvy youths. Working professionals and senior executives get to participate in training programmes on IA/IP strategy, commercialisation and risk management which will help them make strategic management decisions. Further, The Skills Framework for IP will continue to support enterprises analyse and plan IA/IP manpower needs according to the scale of their business. Structured guidance and training will be provided for individuals in these sectors to identify and acquire IA/IP skills relevant to their career progression.
As plans for SIPS 2030 is unveiled, Singapore sets out to broaden its position as a trusted business, financial, and IP hub to the rest of the ASEAN countries, and perhaps globally too. This will undoubtedly attract lots more countries to establish operations or move corporate headquarters to Singapore, which would further grow and develop the country even more.