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Singapore government earmarks IP as a new growth area

Zafar Anjum | April 2, 2013
Government accepts IP Hub Master Plan recommendations and rolls out initiatives to develop Singapore as a global intellectual property hub in Asia

Recognising the fact that intellectual property (IP) has become a key driver of economic growth globally, the Singapore government said it is rolling out initiatives to develop Singapore as a global IP hub in Asia.

According to information released by Singapore's Ministry of Law, the government sees "a window of opportunity to develop Singapore as an IP hub with a vibrant IP industry sector that will help to grow our economy further, and create opportunities for Singaporeans and Singapore companies".

The Government had convened the IP Steering Committee last year to formulate the Master Plan to guide Singapore's development into a global IP hub in Asia. The Master Plan was formally submitted to the Government in early March 2013, and the Government has accepted the recommendations made by the Committee. 

Recommendations by the Committee

The Master Plan is a 10-year plan which sets out the vision of Singapore as a global IP hub in Asia.

It identifies three strategic outcomes that Singapore should work towards.

Singapore should aim to be a hub for:

  • IP transactions and management, where companies use Singapore as a base to manage and transact IP internationally;
  • Quality IP filings, where companies register their IP in Singapore, utilise our IP services and infrastructure, and leverage Singapore as a gateway to secure IP protection in key markets all over the world; and
  • IP dispute resolution, where IP disputes are brought to Singapore for expeditious and effective resolution through litigation or alternative dispute resolution.


To put the Master Plan into action, the government is rolling out the following key initiatives:

- An Economic Development Board (EDB)-MinLaw Joint Programme Office will be set up to develop the IP and legal sectors. It will seek to promote quality IP marketplace players such as IP owners and service providers to Singapore.

- The Government will introduce an IP financing scheme, where it partially underwrites the value of patents used as collateral in the event of default. The intention is to encourage banks to recognise IP as an asset class, build IP financing capabilities among financial institutions, and allow IP-rich companies to raise capital more easily using their IP assets.

- The Singapore Exchange (SGX) will encourage listed companies to disclose their IP rights. 

- The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will establish a new Centre of Excellence for IP Valuation, which will work with industry stakeholders to undertake a range of activities, including research on IP valuation methodologies, training and certification for IP valuation professionals, and establishing industry-wide best practices.

- IPOS will invest S$50 million to build up patent search and examination (S&E) capabilities in technology areas of strategic importance to Singapore. This will draw companies to register IP in Singapore.


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