Following the launch of the first-of-its-kind Intellectual Property Competency Framework (IPCF) last year, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has concluded three new agreements on its adoption today.
The Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc), Association of Singapore Patent Agents (ASPA), and Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with IPOS to oversee the progression and development of IP professionals and practitioners in these respective industries. The Singapore Business Advisors & Consultants Council (SBACC) signed a similar MOU with IPOS last August.
Under the agreements, the three bodies will partner IPOS to professionally certify new and existing IP lawyers, patent agents as well as researchers, scientists and engineers (RSEs) specialising in IP to drive the growth of an ecosystem of IP-related services as envisaged under the IP Hub Master Plan. This includes setting professional renewal requirements, and professional conduct and discipline.
The IPCF was developed based on valuable feedback and support from leading IP experts, industry players and practitioners to equip professionals and individuals with the requisite skills and knowledge to tap into the potentials of the IP industry.
The framework defines the competencies required for key IP job roles in the industry, accredits training providers and their programmes, and certifies the competencies attained as industry recognised qualifications.
The IPCF comprises an overview map which categorises the IP industry into five main service sectors, namely, the legal, technology and business, and the interfaces between the legal-technology and technology-business clusters.
Mr Kristian Robinson, President, ASPA said, “We welcome this opportunity to partner with IPOS in strengthening the patent agent profession here in Singapore by investing in the ongoing professional education and certification of Singapore patent agents. We believe that through the framework of this MOU, stakeholders of the Singapore patent system will be able confidently draw on a wide pool of highly qualified and competent patent professionals in Singapore for their worldwide patent procurement needs".
Prof S.K. Chou, IES President, said, “This IP competency framework offers engineers a new dimension in their professional work and provides a toolset and platform for developing and honing value-adding services that impact in-firm engineering practitioners and technology entrepreneurs".
Mr Lok Vi Ming, President of the Law Society, said, “The Law Society is very happy to partner with IPOS on this world-first IP Competency Framework. Singapore's IP lawyers have always been well regarded locally and internationally. They have been instrumental and key partners in the venture to make Singapore a trusted and well established jurisdiction where IP rights are respected and enforced. Our IP regime is not just robust, it changes in pace with the evolving business and creative environment because our IP lawyers and professionals are forward looking and learning all the time. The competency framework through this collaboration with IPOS will further enhance the skills and capabilities of Singapore's IP lawyers".
Mr Tan Yih San, Chief Executive of IPOS, said, “These agreements build on Singapore’s efforts to professionalise our IP ecosystem, and will raise the bar and provide quality assurance for IP professional standards and training providers. The framework also helps professionals who are eager to upgrade or pursue a career in IP to chart out the various job roles, pathways and skills required within Singapore’s growing IP sector. The progress we are making on the IP front puts us on course to create even more high value-added jobs in Singapore and position ourselves well to deliver IP services to our immediate region".