Speech by Senior Minister of State for Law, Indranee Rajah, at the Official Opening of IP 101
8 Apr 2014 Posted in Speeches
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning. I am happy to join you today at the opening of the all-new IP 101 – IPOS’ one-stop service centre. IP 101 is an important touch point for innovators, creators, and businesses in Singapore. With IP 101, we hope to bring greater understanding and utilization of Intellectual Property (IP) as a key driver for growth in Singapore.
The opening of IP 101 is therefore a fitting occasion to unveil a new IPOS campaign called “Embracing IP”. “Embracing IP” is purposefully couched to bring IP closer to innovators, creators, and businesses. “Embracing IP” comprises 3 key thrusts. They are: “Enabling local businesses through IP”, “Growing Singapore-based businesses with IP” and “Respecting and Caring with IP”.
Enabling local businesses through IP
IP Financing Scheme
Singapore businesses can grow through exploiting new ideas. There is a growing trend of businesses being valued based on intangible assets. According to a report by Brand Finance (a global intangible asset valuation consultancy), 42 per cent of enterprise value in Singapore was in intangible assets in 2012, up from 35 per cent in 2011.
With IPOS’ new IP Financing Scheme, businesses can monetize their IP assets. Last year, the Government announced that we were looking at IP valuation and the use of IP as collateral in a loan transaction, as part of our strategy under the IP Hub Master Plan to encourage the recognition of IP as an asset class.
I am pleased to announce that under the IP Financing Scheme, $100 million of funds will be made available for debt financing in the next few years with patents used as collateral. The risk will be shared between the participating financial institutions and the Government.
I am also pleased to share that as part of our IP 101 Opening celebrations today, we will be witnessing the signing ceremony between IPOS and (3) banks to officially launch this much needed and highly anticipated IP Financing Scheme in Singapore.
IP 101 – IP Service Centre
An effective IP strategy will help a company manage IP throughout its lifecycle, from IP creation and ownership, to IP protection and exploitation. To better support the growth of businesses through IP, the new one-stop service centre IP 101 will help enhance businesses’ access to a full suite of IP products and services.
In addition to traditional IP filing and registration services, companies could visit IP 101 to seek assistance in building their IP Management capability under the SCOPE IP programme. SCOPE IP is a diagnostic methodology developed by IPOS that helps businesses assess the strengths and weaknesses of their existing IP portfolios and systems. IP Consultants and Lawyers will also be conducting IP Business Clinics and IP Legal Clinics for innovators, creators as well as businesses. Specifically, business owners can now look forward to receive one-on-one advice on IP franchising or licensing arrangements in the IP Business Clinics. Those in need of some direction on legal issues relating to their IP can attend IP Legal Clinics to obtain preliminary advice from qualified practitioners.
- IPOS is also working with industries and practitioners to deliver quality IP services in Singapore. I am happy to share that IPOS will be concluding 3 new Memoranda of Understanding today with the
- Law Society of Singapore,
- Association of Singapore Patent Agents; and
- Institution of Engineers Singapore to help professionalise the pool of IP practitioners in Singapore.
Growing Singapore-based businesses through IP
- Many Singapore-based businesses would like to venture overseas with their ideas. They can seek assistance at IP 101 to learn more about IPOS’ suite of patent agreements that have been established both regionally and globally. These agreements will help businesses expedite their patent filing processes in jurisdictions outside Singapore.
- For example, the ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) is a regional patent work sharing programme that allows sharing of patent search and examination results within ASEAN. Under ASPEC, businesses could save up to four years of processing time for filing patents in various ASEAN countries from Singapore.
- IPOS has also established Patent Prosecution Highways (PPHs) with the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, and Mexico. With the PPHs, businesses could save up to two years of processing time for its patent applications.
In addition, companies can visit IP 101 to learn how to navigate the dynamic business and IP terrains in markets such as China and India, through networking events and training programmes.
Respecting and Caring with IP
The third thrust for “Embracing IP” is to develop a sense of respect for IP, and care for the less privileged in Singapore with IP. Singapore supports the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled, which was concluded in June 2013. The existing Copyright Act only allows institutions assisting persons with reading disabilities to make copies of copyrighted works in traditional formats such as Braille.
With the adoption of the Marrakesh Treaty, we will amend our Copyright Act such that people and institutions assisting persons with reading disabilities will be able to make copies of works in all types of formats, such as electronic books, for their beneficiaries’ use in research, study or self-instruction. These institutions will also be able to import accessible format copies for visually impaired persons, and create copies for export to similar institutions in other countries which are party to the Treaty.
To engender healthy respect for IP, outreach projects such as the IP Expedition, a fun and interactive project targeted at primary school students have been initiated. To date, 53 schools have signed up to be part of this IP education journey, bringing the total number of participating students to close to 60,000.
World IP Day is another key public outreach event held on April 26 annually. This year, our focus is to celebrate and pay tribute to Singapore’s very own IP Creators from the creative industry. The community can look forward to immersing themselves in a day full of showcases by local artistes and musicians in this year’s World IP Day.
Last but certainly not least, special mention must be made of the recently concluded IPOS Style Challenge. Students from various tertiary institutions competed to create a uniform design for the Customer Service Representatives at IP 101. I am pleased to recognize the top entries and will hand out the awards later.
Today’s opening of IP 101 marks the launch of the “Embracing IP” campaign. Indeed, I am confident that Singapore will increasingly embrace IP as we build a better future with ideas and innovation.
- Thank you very much.
Last updated on 14 Apr 2014