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IPOS Chief Exec nominated as Director General for the World Intellectual Property Organization

The Coordination Committee of the United Nations (UN) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has officially nominated Mr Daren Tang to be the next Director General of WIPO. WIPO is the specialised agency of the UN responsible for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.

It has played an important role in helping its member states develop their capabilities and infrastructure to harness IP to support socio-economic development, as well as developed and maintained an international IP system to enable innovation.

Mr Tang’s nomination will have to be confirmed by the WIPO General Assembly when it convenes on 7 – 8 May 2020. If confirmed, Mr Tang will be the fifth DG of WIPO, following Dr Francis Gurry from Australia, and the first Singaporean to assume a top role in a UN organisation. The DG-nominee confirmed by the General Assembly will assume official duties on 1 October 2020 for a six-year term.

IPOS recognised as most innovative IP office internationally under Mr Tang’s leadership

Mr Tang currently is the Chief Executive of IPOS, a statutory board under the Ministry of Law, where he has been responsible for the strategic transformation of IPOS from an IP registry and regulator into an innovation agency that helps to build Singapore’s future economy.

During his time at IPOS, there have been major updates to Singapore’s IP Hub Masterplan, legislative and policy reforms to the IP regime and a scaling up of international engagement. IPOS today has cooperation agreements with over 70 regional and international partners.

Under Mr Tang’s leadership, IPOS was recognised as Asia’s most innovative IP office and ranked 2nd in the world by the World Trademark Review in 2019. Singapore has also been ranked 2nd in the world for IP protection by the World Economic Forum (2018/2019), and one of the top 10 countries in WIPO’s annual Global Innovation Index since 2015.

Nomination process was a combined effort from many Government agencies

Speaking from Geneva, Mr Tang said, “I am humbled and honoured by the nomination of the WIPO Coordination Committee as the DG-nominee. The nomination process was a team effort across many government agencies, including the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Ministry of Law (MinLaw), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), our diplomatic Missions around the world, Non-Resident Ambassadors and special envoys, all of whom worked hard over many months to promote my candidature.”

Senior Minister of State for Law and Health, Mr Edwin Tong, SC said, “The support from WIPO when Singapore was still a young country in our formative years, enabled us to develop a strong IP regime in Singapore. We are very grateful for the strong show of support from the WIPO Coordination Committee for Daren. I am confident that, if approved by the WIPO General Assembly in May, Daren will serve WIPO’s interests well, connecting countries and regions across the world.”


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