Singapore ranked eighth in a newly released Intellectual Property (IP) index by the United States Chamber of Commerce, with its key strengths in existing IP frameworks and weaknesses in software piracy and IP-infringing goods.
Although Singapore ranked ahead of countries like Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, it has fallen behind Japan, with its overall score decreasing to 82 per cent (28.62 out of 35 indicators) from 85 per cent (25.63 out of 30) last year (2016), when it ranked 6th.
The fifth annual International IP Index, The Roots Of Innovation, released on Wednesday (Feb 8) placed the US first among the 45 economies covered, with Venezuela finishing last.
The index noted that Singapore's key strengths included an "advanced national IP framework in place", life sciences IP rights in place and available, a patent enforcement legal framework that is "adequate and generally applied", and 2014 copyright amendments that were enforced through a 2016 High Court order.
Singapore's areas of weakness were in software piracy and IP-infringing goods.
"Estimated software piracy has decreased from 35 per cent in 2009 to 30 per cent in 2015, but is still quite high for a high-income economy", the US Chamber of Commerce noted in its factsheet on Singapore.
Another key weakness was a "lack of transparency and data on customs seizures of IP-infringing goods".
Singapore scored poorest on indicators including frameworks against the online sale of counterfeit goods and transparency and public reporting by customs in terms of enforcement of IP laws.