Firms to get help with their IP efforts abroad

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and Deloitte Southeast Asia Financial Advisory Services are teaming up to help 100 innovative enterprises commercialise their intellectual property and compete globally.
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and Deloitte Southeast Asia Financial Advisory Services are teaming up to help 100 innovative enterprises commercialise their intellectual property and compete globally. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES

Companies that make use of intellectual property (IP) - especially in the biomedical and healthcare, manufacturing and engineering, and deep tech fields - are getting a boost to scale up and expand abroad.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) and Deloitte South-east Asia Financial Advisory Services are teaming up to help 100 innovative enterprises commercialise their IP and compete globally.

The signing took place at IP Week @ SG 2017, an event bringing together IP thought leaders, legal experts and companies to discuss IP commercialisation and business growth.

"The partnership reflects Ipos' ongoing efforts as an innovation agency to build a vibrant and globally connected innovation ecosystem, strengthen innovative enterprises' competitiveness through using IP as a strategic business asset, and help them take their products and services to international markets," the agency said yesterday.

Ipos and Deloitte said they aim to help companies understand technology trends to make strategic decisions for investment, as well as commercialise their IP and other intangible assets for business growth.

"The enterprises of today are increasingly built around IP and other intangible assets like know-how, data and digital platforms. As Asian economies develop, we are seeing more and more companies where a significant share of their enterprise value is in their intangible assets, including IP," said Mr Daren Tang, the chief executive of Ipos.

Separately, at the opening ceremony of IP Week @ SG 2017, six local enterprises were given Wipo-Ipos IP awards.

The awards, presented by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo) and Ipos, are into their fifth year and recognise companies which have grown by using IP.

One of the award winners was local menswear label Benjamin Barker, which received the Ipos Award for IP Champions.

Co-founder and chief operating officer Damien Tan said having a strong brand has helped the firm open doors to new partnerships.

It recently signed a deal with a Cambodian franchisee and will be opening two stores in Phnom Penh in the second quarter of next year. The firm is also talking to potential partners in the Philippines and other South-east Asian markets.

"We're looking for partners to expand because we want to focus on our strengths - designing and manufacturing apparel," said Mr Tan.

Investing in IP protection can be costly - the company had to register its trademark in multiple jurisdictions - "but we thought it was important because it's very easy for people to replicate our brand".

Chia Yan Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'Firms to get help with their IP efforts abroad'. Print Edition | Subscribe