Singapore’s strong infrastructure, robust IP regime attract investors

Singapore‘s strong infrastructure and robust intellectual property regime have been attracting foreign investors to set up shop here.According to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, or IPOS, the number of patents in force in Singapore last year stands at 43,024.

This is a 48 percent increase from 2001.

In the last 5 years, the Economic Development Board has been attracting investors to Singapore by consciously promoting innovation not only as a competitive tool, but also as value-creating intellectual property.

EDB says Singapore’s rigorous IP regime has drawn companies from all industries to come to the island.

These are mainly technology companies, chemical firms, electronics multinationals and pharmaceutical giants.

“When you are a small business trying to set up base in this region, I think Singapore is a natural choice, because of its convenient location, its business infrastructure, and not to mention in intellectual property rights protection. So it makes a lot of sense for a company that wants to grow its business regionally and perhaps after that internationally, to use Singapore as a launch pad,” said Devi Haridas, Intellectual Property Lawyer, P.K. Ng, Haridas and Partners.

The number of patent applications filed in Singapore grew from 7,720 in 2000 to 8,605 last year, up 11.5 percent.

Examples of foreign companies with proprietary technologies and trademarks which have decided to base their regional headquarters here include Meiweizhen, Honeywell and Motorola.

There is also a registration office in Singapore for the Madrid System of international registration of marks.

“With the Madrid system of registration, and Singapore is a signatory to the Madrid Protocol, what we have is the convenience of filing it in one office in one language in one application with one set of fees, and then you designate the countries which are obviously part of the system to be designated countries,” added Ms Haridas.

Experts say the lower cost and possibility of having rights protection in more than 100 countries with ease, if one chooses to do so, will continue to attract more companies to set up shop here.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 06 November 2006

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