12 May 2020
On 8 May 2020, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (“IPOS”) issued a press release to announce the official appointment of Mr Daren Tang, the current Chief Executive of IPOS as the next Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”). Mr Tang will be WIPO’s first Director General from Asia, and the first Singaporean to assume a top role in a United Nations organisation.
Mr Tang will take over the helm of WIPO on 1 October 2020 for a term of six years.
Plans for WIPO
In his acceptance speech (https://youtu.be/HQsU9Wrmnro) to the WIPO General Assembly on 8 May 2020, Mr Tang outlined the global challenges faced by the world today, including the “deeper forces of unilateralism and parochialism” threatening to undermine multilateral institutions, and urged member states to respond by working “even more closely together” through a common, global effort. Mr Tang’s plans for WIPO will prioritise the need to build an inclusive, balanced, vibrant, and forward-looking global intellectual property (“IP”) ecosystem.
As IPOS Chief Executive
Mr Tang will relinquish his role as the Chief Executive of IPOS, a statutory board under the Singapore Ministry of Law. Mr Tang was appointed the Chief Executive of IPOS with effect from 16 November 2015. As Chief Executive of IPOS, Mr Tang transformed IPOS from an IP registry and regulator into an innovation agency contributing to Singapore’s future economy. 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. Currently, IPOS has cooperation agreements with over 70 regional and international partners.
IPOS has been 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.
Mr Tang has also served as Chairperson to WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights since May 2017 and was re-elected as Chairperson for a second term in 2019. Before he joined IPOS, Mr Tang was a Senior State Counsel with the International Affairs Division of the Attorney-General’s Chambers, where he advised the Singapore Government on numerous complex international law issues.
What this appointment means for Singapore
We congratulate Mr Tang and the many agencies of the Singapore Government that made this historic milestone possible. The appointment demonstrates the significant esteem that countries hold for Singapore and our commitment to effective protection and enforcement of IP rights, in support of innovation, research and enterprise. We are proud of this strong achievement.
The following reference materials can be found on the IPOS website www.ipos.gov.sg:
- Press release
- Acceptance Speech by Mr Daren Tang to the WIPO General Assembly for the Official Appointment as Director General of WIPO
- Summary of Mr Tang’s plans for WIPO