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Singapore's Intellectual Property Office ranked 2nd most innovative

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The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) has clinched second spot behind the European Union (EU) in an annual ranking of the world's most innovative IP offices.

Global trade publication World Trademark Review (WTR) placed Ipos alongside Chile and Spain in its IP Office Innovation Ranking for 2019, while the EU Intellectual Property Office retained pole position.

WTR described Ipos, which was also a runner-up in its inaugural study in 2017 and joint fifth last year, as an "innovation agency" that "has a strong focus on providing education and support in business development".

Its study covered 50 countries and examined three areas in particular - value-added propositions, online capabilities and public outreach efforts - with opinions sought from around 100 IP practitioners.

Ipos chief executive Daren Tang said the government agency is particularly pleased to be recognised for its work in helping enterprises use IP for business growth and for training Singaporeans in IP and innovation-related skills.

He added: "Innovation, technology and digitalisation are now key drivers of global economic growth, and enterprise value will increasingly be in intangible assets such as IP, data and know-how. Last year, intangible asset value overtook the value of tangible assets for the first time in history."

Mr Tang said Ipos will "leverage Singapore's top-class IP regime to nurture more intangible-asset-rich enterprises, and develop Singapore as a place for innovative enterprises to scale up and access Asian growth markets".

Its initiatives in the past 12 months include launching a fast-track scheme last April to support fintech businesses from anywhere in the world to take their IP to the market more speedily through an accelerated patent-to-grant process.

And last September, Ipos' enterprise engagement arm, IP ValueLab, signed an agreement to set up an international IP innovation service centre in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City. - THE STRAITS TIMES