October 27, 2020

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Singapore Intellectual Property Office announces initiative to support innovative business in global markets

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) announced a new initiative to support innovative enterprises as they enter global markets. The initiative is called the Intellectual Property Insurance Initiative for Innovators (IPIII), and it will give innovative enterprises insurance coverage for legal expenses that may be incurred in intellectual property (IP) infringement proceedings worldwide.

The IPIII initiative was announced this week by Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung in his keynote address at the Singapore Bicentennial 1819 – 2019, hosted by City of London Corporation. Minister Ong was part of an official delegation comprising Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and Dr Tan Wu Meng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry.

Innovators with SG Patent can get cost-saving insurance policy

Under IPIII, enterprises and innovators with a Singapore patent, trademark or registered design can take up an insurance policy with substantial cost savings that pays the legal costs of enforcing IP rights or defending against allegations of IP infringement, which can often be expensive and detrimental to business cash flows.

New business risks will emerge as more enterprises use innovation and digitalisation to grow and enter global markets. With over 60 million IP in force in the world today – about 10 IP for every 1,000 people globally – securing business interests with an IP insurance policy is emerging as a business priority.

This initiative comes at a time when value in the global economy is increasingly created in the form of intangible assets. For the first time in history, global intangible value surpassed US$50 trillion in 2018, making up more than half of the global economy. In advanced economies such as the USA, more than 80% of enterprise value of S&P 500 is already in the form of intangible assets. These trends are increasingly driven by Asian economies, with Asian IP filings growing at the compounded average growth rate of 12.7% from 2007 to 2017, twice as fast as the rest of the world according to figures taken from an IPOS press release.

“IP Growing faster than the world population”

Dr Bernard Ong, Group Director, Policy & Engagement, IPOS, said: “IP has been growing at a faster pace than the world population in the past decade. Yet, insuring IP is still nascent to a market that has witnessed multi-million-dollar patent litigation and trade disputes over IP theft.”

“The new insurance initiative is timely in a global economy increasingly powered by the new currency of intangible assets. Cutting edge initiatives such as IP insurance will anchor Singapore’s position as a financial and legal hub, and support our innovators and entrepreneurs as they expand into overseas markets with their IP.” said Mr Ong.