Knowledge Highlights 4 September 2020

The ninth edition of IP Week @ SG took place digitally from 25 to 27 August 2020. Presented by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”), this intellectual property (“IP”) event brought together IP thought leaders, legal experts and innovative enterprises through a suite of live, complimentary webinars. In his opening remarks at the event on 25 August 2020, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (“MCCY”) and Second Minister for Law, Edwin Tong, SC, mentioned that IPOS will roll out more initiatives to help companies capture opportunities through IP during the Covid-19 pandemic. Set out below is a summary of some of these initiatives.

Launch of SG IP FAST programme

Since 4 May 2020, IPOS has been offering a pilot programme, SG Patent Fast Track, to accelerate grants of patent applications in all technology fields to just six months. SG Patent Fast Track is the world’s fastest application-to-grant process of its kind.

From 1 September 2020, SG Patent Fast Track has been expanded to include the acceleration of trade mark and registered design applications to support innovators in building their IP portfolio, and renamed SG IP Fast Track (“SG IP FAST”).

Under SG IP FAST, patent applications in all technology fields which are first filed in Singapore can be granted in as fast as six months. This is unchanged from the SG Patent Fast Track programme. Applicants with a successful request for patent acceleration under SG IP FAST can request for acceleration of related trade mark and registered design applications.

Enhanced features for IPOS GO

IPOS GO, the world’s first mobile app for trade mark applications when it was launched in August 2019, will be enhanced with new features. One such new feature will enable enterprises to easily look for similar business names, trade marks, domain names and social media account names, all within a single search. The app’s renewal feature will also be extended to patents and registered designs and enable fuss-free maintenance of all registered IP in one mobile platform.

Young IP Mediator programme

IPOS will work with aspiring and fresh law graduates on a Young IP Mediator programme to build up IP mediation experience among Singapore’s youth. The Singapore Government will work with key stakeholders to co-develop national capabilities on IP management. More details will be available next year.

Workforce for IP-Savvy Enterprises (“WISE”) 

WISE is a partnership between IPOS and the Singapore Business Federation (“SBF”) to help Singapore enterprises identify new business opportunities and build new capabilities through IP, as part of efforts to help companies emerge stronger from Covid-19. This new initiative is part of the ongoing partnership between IPOS and SBF, and will build upon the Skills Framework for IP launched in 2019 to provide companies with holistic support in improving their IP literacy and management.

A Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) was signed on 24 August 2020 to reaffirm IPOS and SBF’s continued commitment to help Singapore-based companies create, use and acquire IP as a competitive edge.

Growing with Resilience through InTangibles (“GRIT”)

GRIT is an inter-agency initiative to partner businesses and communities to better manage and monetise their IP in the Covid-19 environment and beyond. Agencies which are part of the joint initiative with IPOS include Enterprise Singapore, Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA), MCCY, National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Sport Singapore. The support will include industry-specific resources and tools, including a webinar series.

For more information on GRIT on the IPOS website www.ipos.gov.sg, please click here.

Intangible Disclosure Evaluation and Audit Scheme (“IDEAS”)

IPOS is partnering Singapore Exchange on IDEAS to help companies identify and communicate the business value of their key intangible assets. Beyond disclosure, an inter-agency effort is underway to enhance and formalise intangible asset valuation standards to facilitate monetisation.

New partnerships forged

On 27 August 2020, IPOS announced that it has forged new IP partnerships, enabling enterprises to use these IP partnerships to access international markets and strengthen Singapore’s role as a global IP hub. IPOS and Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation are working towards recognising design registrations and accelerating registration decisions, complementing the ongoing collaboration between the two countries on patent re-registration. An agreement between IPOS International and China’s Capital Intellectual Property Services Association will see the two organisations partner and provide collaboration opportunities for IP firms, enterprises, research institutes and universities from Singapore, ASEAN and China. Both IP partnerships come on the back of several agreements signed earlier this year with other countries in Asia and South America.

Reference materials

The following materials can be found on the IPOS website www.ipos.gov.sg and MinLaw website www.mlaw.gov.sg.

Further information

Allen & Gledhill has a Covid-19 Resource Centre on our website www.allenandgledhill.com that contains knowhow and materials on legal and regulatory aspects of the Covid-19 crisis.

In addition, we have a cross-disciplinary Covid-19 Legal Task Force consisting of Partners across various practice areas to provide rapid assistance. Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at covid19taskforce@allenandgledhill.com.

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