Strategy to strengthen S'pore as global IP hub will help develop jobs, attract innovative enterprises

More details on the strategy will be announced on World IP Day in April. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - 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 on Tuesday (March 2).

That is why the Singapore IP Strategy 2030 is being developed by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), which is working closely with stakeholders and partners, said Mr Tong.

He added that more details on the strategy will be announced on World IP Day in April.

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

Last year, MinLaw launched the SG IP Fast Programme to speed up the registration of patents and related trademarks and registered designs, and cut the processing time for businesses.

MinLaw also partnered the Singapore Exchange to launch a scheme to encourage companies to undergo IA evaluations.

The scheme, called the Intangible Disclosure Evaluation and Audit Scheme, helps to promote a more robust IA disclosure environment, said Mr Tong.

The ministry also launched the Workforce for IP Savvy Enterprises programme in partnership with the Singapore Business Federation to help Singapore enterprises acquire new capabilities through IP, he added.

During the debate, Mr Christopher de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) spoke 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.

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