IPOS Introduces New Programmes to Spur Innovation


The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), Lloyd’s Asia, and Antares Underwriting Asia, have launched an initiative to support innovative enterprises as they enter global markets. Called the Intellectual Property Insurance Initiative for Innovators (IPIII), the programme will give innovative enterprises access to insurance coverage for legal expenses that may be incurred in intellectual property (IP) infringement proceedings worldwide.

IPIII offers an insurance policy for enterprises and innovators with a Singapore patent, trademark or registered design, which can cover the legal costs of enforcing IP rights or defending against allegations of IP infringement, covering legal expenses which can often be expensive and detrimental to business cash flows.

The initiative is timely as it comes amid the increasing role of intangible assets in value creation in the global economy. As IPOS noted, 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 firms 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.

To complement Singapore’s shift towards a digital economy, another programme introduced recently by IPOS also supports innovative enterprises that are looking to bring their Artificial Intelligence (AI) products faster to the global market.  The programme, entitled Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) accelerates the application-to-grant process for AI patent applications in as fast as six months.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is identified as one of the key catalysts and drivers as Singapore transforms to a digital economy. As enterprises explore new ways to deploy AI solutions to transform their business and gain a competitive edge, there has been an increasing demand for AI technologies. Keen interest in AI can be observed in worldwide patenting activities where more than 180,000 inventions related to AI were published between 2008 to 2017. Today, AI solutions are commonly deployed in a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, logistics and healthcare. 

The AI2 initiative was launched on 26 April 2019, World Intellectual Property Day, and will be available for a period of two years. This follows on IPOS’ FinTech Fast Track (FTFT) programme which saw grant of its first accelerated patent to Voyager Innovations, a technology company based in Southeast Asia. The FTFT programme enabled Voyager to obtain a patent grant within seven months of filing as opposed to the typical two to four year application-to-grant timeframe.

This article was first published in Managing IP.

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