Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) has recently announced that it will play its part in boosting Singapore’s reputation as Asia’s intellectual property (IP) hub. To that end, it has established a Steering Committee chaired by key executives and IP experts from public and private sector institutions such as the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and the law firm Allen & Gledhill LLP.
The IP Steering Committee is tasked with charting the roadmap for Singapore’s transformation into Asia’s one-stop destination for world-class IP services. The roadmap, known as the IP Hub Master Plan, is set to provide recommendations to support two key strategic thrusts namely:
- Developing a vibrant marketplace for IP transaction and commercialization; and
- Building world-class IP capabilities and infrastructure.
The first thrust entails creating a vibrant marketplace for the commercialization of IP activities in Asia and facilitating greater IP exploitation by companies.
The second thrust includes the following:
- Broadening the scope of expertise of IP professionals and practitioners in the IP services sector;
- Enhancing Singapore’s IP infrastructure and dispute resolution capabilities to facilitate the protection and registration of IP in global markets; and
- Promoting excellence in IP research and thought leadership.
Analysis by Singapore company registration specialist Rikvin shows that these broader goals reiterate Singapore’s growing focus on Intellectual Property in recent years. Intellectual Property has become a game-changing ingredient for businesses as they strive for a bigger slice of the global economic pie, and Singapore is concurrently seeking to displace Malaysia as the regional powerhouse of Intellectual Property protection. The Singapore Government, recognizing the growing importance of IP to corporate entities both local and international, has included IP registration and acquisition activities under the scope of the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) Scheme.
According to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), IP-registration or acquisition activities are eligible for either a 400% Singapore corporate tax deduction or a 60% cash conversion option under the PIC Scheme.
However, they are subject to the following conditions:
- To register Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) – Your entity must have owned the IPR for at least 1 year from the date of filing.
- To acquire IPRs – Your entity must have owned the IPR for at least 5 years from the date of acquisition of IPR to the date of disposal of IPR.
Commenting further, Mr. Satish Bakhda, Rikvin’s Head of Operations said, “With this renewed vigor in protecting IP rights and making them commercially-sound businesses investments, there is a strong signal being sent to small businesses. Firstly, the IP aspect of their unique products and branding will provide an edge not only in increasing the quality of products and services that reach the consumer market; but will also generate better returns for the companies as it will now be easier for them to assert their rights to ownership in the face of indiscriminate passing-off and other similar infringements. These businesses also get a lot of cost-related support from the government, thus it should be fully taken advantage of.”
“We are positive that Singapore will be well-positioned to meet the increasing demand for IP services in the region. Not only would the high-end legal and research industries benefit from this initiative, the smaller local entities with big plans to expand and grow holistically would also benefit significantly,” added Mr. Bakhda.
The Steering Committee is seeking feedback and recommendations from IP owners, practitioners and the public regarding the above areas of IP until 31 August 2012.
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