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Singapore's intellectual-property chief in bid for top job at United Nations agency

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Under Mr Tang's tenure, Ipos moved up a notch to place fourth on the International Property Rights Index, maintaining its position as the top Asian nation.

[SINGAPORE] The head of Singapore's intellectual property office is running for the top job at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo).

Daren Tang, chief executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos), was nominated by the government for the post of Wipo director general earlier this month.

"Mr Tang's credentials and experience will enable him to contribute meaningfully in the role," Ipos said.

Wipo director general Francis Gurry of Australia, who has held the position since 2008, steps down in September next year.

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Member states of the United Nations (UN) specialised agency must submit nominations by Dec 30 and Wipo's coordination committee will nominate a candidate by early March 2020.

The UN general assembly will appoint the new director general by May.

Ipos said Mr Tang, who became Ipos deputy chief executive in August 2012 and chief executive in November 2015, has been "actively engaged in (Wipo) activities and discussions", including chairing its standing committee on copyright and related rights since May 2017.

Ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh praised Mr Tang in a Facebook post last Wednesday for transforming Ipos into an "innovation agency".

Under his tenure, Ipos moved up a notch to place fourth on the International Property Rights Index, maintaining its position as the top Asian nation.

Prof Koh also noted Mr Tang's contributions to Singapore in inking various international deals such as the free-trade agreement with the United States, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

"As a Singaporean he would be an excellent honest broker and bridge builder between the north and the south and between the east and the west," Prof Koh wrote.

Before he joined Ipos, a statutory board under the law ministry, Mr Tang was a senior state counsel with the Attorney-General's Chambers' international affairs division.

He was also part of Singapore's legal team in the dispute with Malaysia over the sovereignty of Pedra Branca.

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