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Singapore launches program to help businesses protect innovations

Article ImageThe country’s intellectual property office offers free assistance to entrepreneurs

Singapore’s government is launching a new program to help innovators, startup programs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access intellectual property (IP) resources.

Tech companies will be able to obtain free IP legal advice, resources and training through the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Programs like IP Start will provide support, advice and resources for Singapore-based startup accelerators and incubators.

Users can also access patent drafting and prosecution services, as well as seed funding, mentorship and workspaces.

Program participants will be taught how to integrate IP management in the early stages of business development. Some 12 firms have already signed up, including the Singapore Deep-Tech Alliance, SGInnovate and Origgin Ventures, among others.

“SMEs play a critical role in the Singapore economy, accounting for 99% of all companies and employing 70% of the local force,” said Edwin Tong, Singapore’s second minister for law (pictured). “To reap the full benefits of their innovations, they need to have the expertise and know-how to secure their IP rights.”

“These initiatives will provide innovators with the resources to help them gain a competitive edge,” Tong added.

Patents and trade secrets: Tools and tips 

Trade secrets are among the concerns of early entrepreneurs. According to a 2021 IPOS survey, 98% of the companies understood that trade secrets were important to grow their business. However, due to a lack of knowledge, only 45% made an active effort to protect their trade secrets.

To help businesses understand trade secrets, IPOS has created a guide to help enterprises better manage their trade secrets. It contains definitions, case studies and a list of tools available to protect assets.

Patent protection is another focus for innovative businesses. To help enterprises facilitate the protection of their innovations, the Association of Singapore Patent Attorneys has provided five volunteer patent attorneys to help with IPOS’s new program.

The various initiatives were unveiled at the recent IP Week @ SG event, which took place in Singapore.

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