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IPOS, WDA launch new programme for trainee patent agents

SINGAPORE could soon see a larger pool of qualified patent agents with the launch of a new Professional Conversion Programme for trainee patent agents by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA).

The programme launched on Tuesday aims to convert up to 70 professionals in the next two years to meet the growing manpower needs of the intellectual property (IP) sector. These professionals will join the ranks of the more than 100,000-strong workforce involved in high value-added jobs in the IP sector.

The programme will be administered by IPOS to help Singapore-based companies nurture newly-hired trainees who aspire to become registered patent agents here. Trainees are first placed or hired at the participating employers' workplaces before subsidised IP training is provided to them. Participating companies will receive funding for trainee-related expenses.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, IPOS and WDA said this enlarged pool of qualified patent agents will help Singapore meet the rising demand for patent procurement services in the region. Over the past decade, overall patent filings in Singapore rose more than 30 per cent from 7,908 in 2003 to 10,312 in 2014.

To further enhance the pool of patent agents in Singapore, IPOs and WDA are also working to provide additional support to individuals currently attempting the Patent Agents Qualifying Examination (PAQE) this year to qualify as registered patent agents.