IP Heads Affirm Commitment to International Collaboration at 2019 Singapore Forum


IP Heads Affirm Commitment to International Collaboration at 2019 Singapore Forum

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SINGAPORE – 27 August 2019 – Global intellectual property (IP) and chief executives at major IP agencies today said that pursuing cross border collaboration and partnerships is vital in an increasingly fragmenting economic landscape.

At the plenary session at IP Week @ Singapore (from L-to-R): Mr Tim Moss, Chief Executive Officer & Comptroller General, UK Intellectual Property Office; Session moderator Ms Sandy Huang; Mr Darren Tang, Chief Executive, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore; Mr David Lossignol, President, International Trademark Association; and Dr Fernando Dos Santos, Director General, Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation.

At the opening of IP Week @ SG 2019, UK Intellectual Property Office Chief Executive Officer and Comptroller General Mr Tim Moss said “the future of IP offices is absolutely about collaboration.” There is a need to harmonise IP practices across borders and the UK IPO is working closely with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) on this.

Mr Moss was a key speaker at IP Week in Singapore 2019 which opened on Tuesday (27 August). The Singapore forum is in its 8th edition and has become a key forum for international IP experts to exchange views. The forum, organised by IPOS, opened against the backdrop of enterprises facing greater uncertainties with ongoing trade tensions and political uncertainties.

In his opening address attended by 4,000 delegates, IPOS Chief Executive Mr Daren Tang said: “IP is no longer just a technical vertical (attribute), but a horizontal enabler. And as our economies become transformed by innovation, technology and digitalisation, intangible assets, not just IP, but data, trade secrets, know-how, expertise and more, will increasingly move to the centre of our economies.”

Echoing the message of collaboration, Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation Director General Dr Fernando Dos Santos said that his continent is still grappling with internet connectivity and related skills in managing IP matters. Hence, cross border collaboration is necessary.

On the matter of Brexit, Mr Moss said that “we have a situation currently on trade marks and designs based on the EU trade mark system which covers 28 countries. When we (the UK) leave on 31 October, there will be 27-member states. That means that two million rights, in theory, will disappear. This is a fundamental property right (and) it is no mean feat to create two million new rights overnight (at the UK IPO).”

He added that for any organisation with a European trademark and seeking a UK IP right, “it can be created automatically at no extra cost and it will happen on 1 November”.

The forum continues with discussions related to IP and cutting-edge technologies and how legislation is evolving.