Singapore's moves to establish itself as a trusted hub of intellectual property (IP) took a step forward yesterday with the launch of an initiative to help firms commercialise patents, trademarks and brands.
Ipos International, a new wholly-owned unit of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos), will serve as a one-stop IP shop.
It brings together more than 100 experts to advise in areas such as strategy and management, patent search and analysis and training.
The new entity merges Ipos' enterprise engagement arm, patent examination unit and IP training arm, making it more convenient for firms wanting to use IP to drive growth.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that this will "better organise" the Government's support for companies.
"Intangible assets, including IP, will increasingly drive the next wave of global growth," he said at the opening of the annual IP Week conference at Marina Bay Sands.
Around two-thirds of the global economy - or US$50 trillion (S$69.4 trillion) - lie in intangible assets such as patents and trademarks, software, brands and information technology acquisitions. They now make up over 80 per cent of corporate balance sheets in the 500 largest publicly listed US companies, up from 20 per cent about 40 years ago.
Mr Chan said that amid a fragmented world, Singapore will redouble its efforts to be seen as a trusted IP hub. To that end, Ipos International will provide businesses with ways to use their intangible assets and IP to expand globally.
Around two-thirds of the global economy - or US$50 trillion (S$69.4 trillion) - lie in intangible assets such as patents and trademarks, software, brands and information technology acquisitions.
For a start, a free tool is now available to help businesses assess their IP management status. In 10 minutes, they will receive key insights on potential IP gaps and risks as well as tips and recommendations for further action. Firms can tap Ipos' extensive networks with countries that cover 90 per cent of global trade to expand globally through their intangible assets and IP.
Ipos International chairman Daren Tang said: "As Singapore's economy transforms, enterprises will increasingly turn to innovation to drive business growth.
"We will also work closely with partners in government and the private sector, in Singapore and overseas, to offer holistic solutions to innovative enterprises as they scale up into the region and beyond."
Mr Chan also unveiled a new national framework to train IP talent.
The framework aims to raise the overall competencies of professionals, helping them identify career paths and the skills needed to succeed in roles requiring IP skills in both the public and private sectors.
It covers 11 job roles and 60 technical and general skills in IP commercialisation, legal, management, strategy and patent prosecution.
Mr Chan presented three Singapore companies - Razer, Biolidics and Durapower Holdings - with awards yesterday to mark their efforts to leverage intangible assets and IP for business growth.
Gaming hardware firm Razer has filed over 3,000 patents, trademarks and registered designs since its founding in 2005.
Razer chief legal officer Choo Wei-Pin said yesterday: "From pioneering gaming hardware categories like gaming laptops to building Razer Gold, the world's most popular virtual credit system for gamers, these achievements were made possible through the robust IP framework of Singapore and other nations."