Parliament Debate on ministries' budgets: Law

Strategy to boost S'pore's position as global IP hub in the works

Strengthening Singapore's position as a global hub for innovation, intangible assets (IA) and intellectual property (IP) over the next decade will help develop good jobs and skills in the growing sector, said Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong.

It will also help to attract and grow innovative enterprises through IA and IP, he told Parliament yesterday.

That is why the Singapore IP Strategy 2030 is being developed by the Ministry of Law, which is working closely with stakeholders and partners, said Mr Tong, adding that more details will be announced on World IP Day on April 26.

The move is part of an overall strategy to strengthen Singapore's status as a leading international legal and dispute resolution hub, which will create "economic value and good work for Singapore and Singaporeans", said Mr Tong.

During the debate on the ministry's budget, Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) had spoken about enhancing Singapore's reputation as a jurisdiction for companies to protect and defend their IP when disputes arise.

"This, in fact, is one of our key focus areas," said Mr Tong, who is also Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

The minister noted that the Arbitration Act and International Arbitration Act were amended in 2019 to clarify that IP disputes are arbitrable in Singapore, binding only for the parties in proceedings.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore also launched the Young IP Mediator initiative last year in partnership with local universities to build up IP mediation experience among law students and fresh law graduates.

"We will continue to build our capabilities in handling IP dispute resolution, to make Singapore a 'go-to' place when companies have IP disputes to resolve," said Mr Tong.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2021, with the headline 'Strategy to boost S'pore's position as global IP hub in the works'. Subscribe