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Singapore keeps top spot in Asia for IP rights protection
SINGAPORE is tops in Asia again in the strength of the protection it offers for intellectual property (IP) rights.
It has been top in Asia since at least the 2015 edition of the annual International Property Rights Index (IPRI).
Globally, in a field of 129 countries, the Republic has moved up a notch to fourth, losing out only to IP powerhouses such as Finland (first), Switzerland (second) and New Zealand (third).
This year's IPRI, released on Friday, has ranked Australia and Japan fifth and sixth respectively; the US moved up two spots to 12th, and the UK slipped down two to 15th.
Developed by US-based Property Rights Alliance, the index serves as a barometer for the strength of protection across physical and intellectual property.
The rankings are determined using data from official sources across various international organisations, together with case studies compiled across 118 think-tanks and policy organisations in 72 countries.
The index placed Singapore among the top countries under the three core categories: physical property rights, IP rights, as well as the legal and political environment to enforce these rights.
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), which released the report on the latest IPRI, said it continues to innovate and encourage enterprises to use IP as a growth engine for their businesses.
For instance, it recently launched the world's first trademark registration mobile app, which reduces the time taken to file a trademark by 80 per cent; the app uses AI (artificial intelligence) technology in image search during the registration process.
IPOS, a government agency under the Ministry of Law, also announced new initiatives in partnership with eight other Asean IP offices to expedite patent applications in key emerging technologies such as fintech, cyber security and robotics.
An accelerated programme known as the IPOS Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) saw its first use case.
An international firm was granted an AI patent in three months, compared to an average of two to four years, IPOS noted.
It said: "These initiatives are part of IPOS' efforts to catalyse the growth of innovative enterprises, industries and the economy through IP and intangible assets."
Daren Tang, chief executive of IPOS, said: "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."