In recognition of its robust Intellectual Property (IP) rights protection, Singapore ranks top again in Asia in the 2019 edition of the International Property Rights Index (IPRI).

Globally, Singapore moved up one notch to be placed fourth, behind other IP powerhouses Finland (1st), Switzerland (2nd) and New Zealand (3rd). The following countries are ranked in order: Australia, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Canada, the USA, Denmark, Austria and the UK.

A flagship publication by US-based Property Rights Alliance, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of property rights worldwide, the IPRI, serves as a barometer for the strength of property right protection across three core categories: (i) Legal and Protection Environment, (ii) Physical Property Rights, and (iii) Intellectual Property rights. TheIPRI 2019’s sample set of 129 countries represents 94% of the world population and 98% of the world domestic product(GDP). The rankings are determined using data compiled from case studies with 118 think tanks and policy organisationsin 72 countries.

Singapore is not resting on its laurels as it continues to innovate and support enterprises in their use of IP for corporate growth. On the home front, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) launched its trademark registration mobile app – a first in the world. With the introduction of the app, trademark registration will be transformed as businesses and entrepreneurs seeking trademark protection in Singapore may now file their trademarks directly with IPOS via their mobile devices. AI technology is utilised in image search during the application process and the time takento file a trademark is reduced by 80%.

Being ranked in the top position for IP rights protection in Asia for another year provides greater impetus for enterprises and entrepreneurs to continue driving innovation in Singapore and leveraging on their intangible assets to grow from Singapore to the world. Mr Daren Tang, chief executive of IPOS, stated: “It is an honour to be recognised as a leading country in the protection of property rights. Societies and economies are becoming more interconnected in the new digital world, where growth and development are driven by IP and intangible assets. This accolade will bolster confidence for innovative enterprises to continue to use Singapore as a hub to manage, grow and deploy their IP and intangible assets into the region and beyond.”

This article was first published in Managing IP November/December 2019 edition.