Singapore unveils 10-year master plan to be Asia's IP hub

Measures such as the intellectual property financing scheme and setting up of a Centre of Excellence for IP valuation are examples of how the government is looking to position Singapore as the region's IP destination.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Singapore is looking to position itself as the global intellectual property (IP) hub in Asia, and has instituted a series of initiatives as part of its 10-year master plan to turn its plan into a reality.

Singapore wants to be Asia's destination for IP filing, management and valuation, and it has a 10-year plan detailing how.

According to a press release on the Ministry of Law's Web site Monday, the government has accepted the recommendations made by the IP Steering Committee which called for Singapore to be a hub for IP transactions and management, quality IP filings, and IP dispute resolution.

The IP Steering Committee, convened by the government in May 2012, was chaired by MediaCorp Chairman Teo Ming Kian and it consulted more than 200 IP professionals from over 100 local and foreign organizations before formulating the recommendations, it stated.

"Singapore's development as a global IP hub in Asia will create high-value job opportunities for Singaporeans and generate benefits for the legal and IP service sectors, as well as IP owners," the ministry said in the press release.

Among the various initiatives, the government will introduce an IP financing scheme with which it partially underwrites the value of patents used as collateral in event of default. This encourages banks to recognize IP as an asset class, builds IP financing capabilities among our financial institutions, and allows IP-rich companies to raise capital more easily using their patent assets.

Neighbors Malaysia had in October 2012 said it would unveil its IP valuation model in December 2012, and would be a useful tool for local financial institutions to tap on for determining the value of IP rights put up as collateral.

Increasing talent, expertise

To boost the overall ecosystem, financial institutions that are undertaking IP financing-related courses can also apply for support under the Financial Training Scheme administered by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The Intellectual Property of Singapore (IPOS) will also set up a new Centre of Excellence for IP valuation, and the latter will work with industry stakeholders on areas such as research on IP valuation methodologies and training and certification for IP valuation professionals.

It will invest S$50 million (US$40.3 million) to build up patent search and examination (S&E) capabilities in tech areas considered to be strategically important to Singapore. IPOS had started its S&E team last September, and is expected to be operation in mid-2013 following training by the European and Japan patent offices, the press release stated.

Another S$15 million (US$12.1 million) will be spent strengthening the IP Academy to be the central agency to orchestrate the delivery of education and training in this field, it added.

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