The agreements signed during IP Week @ SG further strengthen Singapore's role as a global IP hub and may further cement Singapore's position as a hotspot for international IP activities by increasing the scope of collaboration with other nations and enabling Singapore to function as a gateway for overseas enterprises seeking IP protection. These agreements build on previous Memorandums of Understanding signed with South Korea and Myanmar on 1 and 7 July respectively to foster bilateral support on the commercial exploitation of Intellectual Property, which we cover in our July 2020 IP newsletter here.
More broadly, agreements also complement the IPOS's recent initiatives to assist enterprises in obtaining quicker and easier IP protection. One such initiative is the expansion of the IPOS's SG IP Fast Track Programme to enable applicants with an accelerated patent application to request acceleration in respect of their related trade mark and registered design applications. For more information, please refer to our August 2020 IP newsletter here.
In more detail
As part of attempts to foster greater global IP cooperation in response to the influx of medical discoveries being made in the fight against COVID-19, Singapore has signed co-operation agreements with Cambodia, China, Brazil and Myanmar during IP Week @ SG, a global conference organised by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).
The agreements can be broadly summarised as follows:
- The Singapore-Cambodia agreement (between IPOS and Cambodia's Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation) aims to recognise and accelerate design registrations, which complements the ongoing collaboration between the two countries on patent de-registration;
- The Singapore-China agreement (between IPOS International and China's Capital Intellectual Property Services Association) will offer collaboration opportunities and facilitate knowledge exchange through the joint organisation of seminars and training programmes to deepen knowledge and capabilities in IP protection, commercialisation and management for enterprises in the region;
- The Singapore-Brazil agreement (between IPOS and Brazil's National Institute of Industrial Property) focuses on accelerating the patent application examinations process through the Patent Prosecution Highway and facilitating information exchange; and
- The Singapore-Myanmar agreement (between IPOS and Myanmar's IP Department) promises collaboration in a variety of areas ranging from patent work-sharing arrangements like PPH programmes, a patent re-registration agreement, and the outsourcing of patent search and examination work.
These developments further expand Singapore's efforts to foster international cooperation on the commercial exploitation of Intellectual Property. On 1 and 7 July, Singapore also signed Memorandums of Understanding with South Korea and Myanmar which broadly:
- Enable Korean and Burmese applicants to use IPOS’s patent search and examination expertise to conduct international searches under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and may rely on these reports to accelerate their patent grant in other countries; and
- Provide Korean applicants with access to IPOS's technical expertise and bilingual abilities to conduct prior art searches in English and Chinese.
The IPOS's press release can be found here. Minister Edwin Tong's keynote speech discussing IPOS's key initiatives to assist enterprises can be found here.
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