Singapore top in Asia for intellectual property protection

SINGAPORE - Efforts by Singapore to respect intellectual property (IP) have enabled the Republic to come up tops in IP protection in Asia.

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Report ranked Singapore as the number one Asian economy and second in the world for IP protection.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) said in a statement on Friday that this is the fourth year in a row that the country has retained the high positions for IP protection.

Initiatives here to improve IP protection have not gone unnoticed, enabling Singapore to climb up the WEF rankings.

In 2006, Singapore was placed in ninth position globally before rising to third spot in 2010.

Ipos attributed the improvement in rankings to its moves to develop the country into an IP hub of Asia.

Among the measures it launched over the years is an IP Financing Scheme that allows firms to estimate the value of their patents and to monetise such assets.

An IP ValueLab has also been set up to help firms to manage their IP.

Ipos added that the strong IP regime here has helped to bring commerce and foreign investments into the country.

This helped to attract over 600 franchising systems with more than 40,000 franchisees in 2012.

Such firms are estimated to account for 18 per cent of the total domestic retail sales volume.

"Singapore's business-friendly IP regime has helped bolster the confidence of leading global companies such as Procter and Gamble, Continental, and Mead Johnson, all of whom have selected Singapore as their location of choice for investments in business and research & development, citing the country's strong protection of IP rights as a factor in their decisions," Ipos said.