Singapore and China strengthened IP cooperation with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on October 27, 2014 between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) to jointly develop the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City.
Signed during the 11th Singapore-China Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation meeting, this IP MoU aims to strengthen cooperation and encourage the exchange of ideas and experience between the two countries in areas such as formulation and implementation of IP laws and policies, fostering development of IP-related services such as financial products, IP valuation and IP appraisal, enabling the development of IP automation systems and deepening the exchange of IP documentation and data. Also included in this MoU is a commitment to develop and implement a pilot programme to increase IP awareness and usage.
The MoU, which is effective for five years, builds on already existing collaborations between Singapore and China such as a patent prosecution highway agreement providing an accelerated and cost-effective route to obtain IP protection in both countries.
Under the MoU, the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City (SSGKC) will be recognised as a “model zone for intellectual property cooperation”, reaffirming an earlier agreement to develop activities that will assist in the development of the SSGKC as an IP model hub for China. These activities include forming an advisory panel to advise on the development plans, helping companies to commercialise and develop their IP, undertaking capacity building and training and hosting study visits and exchanges.
In line with furthering commitments, the IP Academy Singapore, an IPOS subsidiary, recently conducted a 10-day training programme for Chinese government officials from the law, technology and economic sectors with its main focus being IP and its importance for economic growth and development at both the national and organisational levels.
By increasing the exchange of IP knowledge and expertise, IP relationships between Singapore and China are strengthened, paving the way for simplified and streamlined processes for IP acquisition, protection and enforcement for innovative businesses and individuals in both countries.