Since 2015 Singapore has led all other Asian countries in the International Property Rights Index (IPRI). The IPRI ranks 129 countries representing around 98% of the global GDP, in:

  1. Intellectual Property (IP) Rights;
  2. Physical Property Rights; and
  3. Legal and Political Environment,

and placed Singapore at the top of the category for Protection of IP Rights in Asia.

This strong ranking is confirmation of the Artificial Intelligence (AI), FinTech, and Industry 4.0 initiatives actively promoted by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Singapore’s strength in supporting innovators

Singapore is ranked fourth on the list, with Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand representing the top three, and the US having climbed to twelfth spot. This strong position is likely due to IPOS developing products that directly support patent and trademark applicants and technology groups.

IPOS has launched a world-first trademark registration mobile app that uses an AI-based image search engine during registration to help applicants identify potentially competing, pre-existing marks.

In consultation with industry members, IPOS has also launched a number of programs to accelerate patent protection in areas that are becoming globally controversial areas for protection, particularly for technologies with short lifespans. The Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) has started paying dividends, with an AI patent recently granted in three months. Similarly, the FinTech Fast Track enables applicants to potentially have rights granted within 6 months.

In addition, Singapore has partnered with the nine ASEAN IP offices to accelerate patent protection for FinTech, cybersecurity, robotics and other Industry 4.0 technologies.

Singapore and the IPRI

The IPRI was developed by US-based Property Rights Alliance, to serve as a barometer for the strength of protection across physical and intellectual property. The strength of Singapore’s position, and the IPRI more generally, reflects a significant positive correlation between property rights and social well-being indicators across various fields including, among others, innovation. The data forming the basis for the IPRI is drawn from official sources and various international organisations, along with case studies, think-tanks and policy organisations.