More IP resources for enterprises announced

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More IP resources have been announced for enterprises to grow their businesses and emerge stronger from the pandemic. This was announced by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law Mr Edwin Tong at the launch of the annual Intellectual Property Week (IP Week @ SG 2021).

Said Mr Tong: “In line with the Singapore IP Strategy (SIPS) 2030, which we launched earlier this April, we are introducing a suite of resources to help enterprises maximise the value of their intangible assets (IA) and intellectual property (IP).

“We hope that these initiatives will provide continued growth opportunities for Singaporean enterprises and IP professionals and in turn strengthen Singapore’s position as a global IA and IP hub. This has also taken on added importance as enterprises position themselves to emerge stronger from the pandemic.”

IPOS currently runs complimentary IP business and legal clinics with its network of IP law firms and business consultancy firms once a week. From September 2021, enterprises can access a larger pool of IP practitioners that they can seek advice from during a clinic session.

IPOS has also partnered the Singapore Management University’s Yong Pung How School of Law (SMUYPHSL) to pilot the Mentoring IP Leaders programme (IP MILE), an initiative to grow Singapore’s IP talent pool. Third and final year law students in the programme will be mentored by participating law firms during IPOS’ IP legal clinics.

Singaporeans may apply for the SkillsFuture Study Award for IP (SFSA-IP) which will offer $5,000 in training grants for up to 30 individuals to build up IP capabilities and develop industry-relevant IP skills. Launched in 2017, the number of awards this year has increased by 50 percent -over the past two years.

To improve IP dispute resolution proceedings in Singapore, IPOS has put together a list of Singapore-based IP expert witnesses who can assist in court proceedings or arbitrations relating to IP and technology disputes. 

The list currently consists of 16 expert witnesses who hail from various industry sectors, including engineering, healthcare, manufacturing, infocomm technology and pharmaceutical.

Brand Search, the 4-in one search function on the IPOS GO mobile app has been launched. The enhanced search feature will help entrepreneurs and new business owners conduct a quick search for similar business names, trade marks, available domain names, and social media usernames before deciding on a suitable name for their brand.

Regional IP cooperation programmes have been enhanced to help enterprises access international markets more effectively.          

IPOS and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) will extend the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot for five years till 31 August 2026 and will incorporate the PPH-Mottainai model. 

Under this model, applicants will be able to enjoy accelerated patent applications by relying on a relevant examination result established first by either IP office, regardless of whether the patent application was first filed with IPOS or with CNIPA. The increased flexibility of using examination results from either office can speed up patent applications.

A virtual ASEAN IP Academy has also been set up within the ASEAN IP portal hosted by Singapore.  This virtual academy will provide IP training and capability building activities in all ASEAN countries to enhance IP expertise in the region. Businesses in the ASEAN region can look forward to accessing a range of IP training programmes and expertise.