Dr Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization
Dr Stanley Lai, Chairman, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore
Ladies and gentlemen
Welcome to this Global Symposium at IP Week @ SG 2016.
- This year’s theme is “Powering the Innovation Cycle through IP”.
- INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY ARE ENGINES OF CHANGE
Innovation and creativity are driving forces of human civilization.
They are engines of change - causing societies to evolve, continuously renewing the way we live, work and interact with each other.
COMMUNICATIONS - A STORY OF EVOLUTIONARY AND REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE
Just take the story of communications for example.
- Eye and ear
For prehistoric man, you had to be within sight or hearing distance to receive a message.
Along the way, man learnt to write. Messages could now be carried not only across distance but also over time.
- Clay and Books
During the site clearance for Bloomberg’s new European HQ in London, 405 waxed Roman clay tablets were discovered.
Recording accounts, legal documents and personal correspondence, the tablets were not just communications of the day, but they have allowed the early Londoners to speak to us – 2000 years in their future.
From clay, we progressed to papyrus, parchment and paper, making communications easier, faster and cheaper.
In 1440 the Guttenberg printing press introduced mass communication.
- Telegraph, Telephone and Internet
Over time, our communications went electronic.
The telegraph allowed us to send messages using electrical signals.
With radio we transmitted messages via electromagnetic waves.
With the telephone, communication became instantaneous.
With the phonograph and camera, we captured sound and images.
With binary code we talked to computers.
With pixels, the computers talked back.
- With the Internet, the whole world now communicates in sounds, words and images, all at the same time.
- Satellites and Space
Today, communications are anchored by satellites which send data up into space and beam it back down to earth.
New Horizons probe – Billions of km away but we can communicate with and control it.
The story of communications is also a story of innovation, improving lives, shaping societies, generating economic development, and advancing human civilisation, one innovation at a time.
- INNOVATION DRIVES BUSINESS
Let us now consider innovation in today’s global economy.
Innovation drives business.
Let me show you something:
That was a trailer from Rise of the Tomb Raider. It’s very popular.
What’s special about it? This and many other games are underpinned by innovative cutting- edge technology developed by a Singaporean company, Razer.
Razer’s technology and products give gamers a unique enhanced gaming experience, and are very much in demand.
The innovation in Razer’s products drives Razer’s business.
- Intellectual property forms the core of Razer’s business strategy, helping Razer to maintain its strong winning edge in a highly competitive industry.
- Razer’s cutting edge technology is protected by patents.
- Razer’s creativity is protected by designs and copyright.
- Razer’s brand is protected by trademark.
Razer’s innovation and IP help the company secure dominance in the global market.
This is the commercial reality of today – companies that use innovation and IP effectively will gain a strong competitive edge.
- INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DRIVES INNOVATION
IP is not just about law. IP is also about business and innovation.
A 2015 study by Ocean Tomo found that more than 80% of the total market value of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index companies is found in their intangible assets.
Valuation of intangible assets and IP is a key gap in the business strategy of many companies today.
Singapore intends to be at the forefront of addressing this gap, to help companies unlock the full value of their intangible assets.
INNOVATION AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ARE DRIVERS OF SINGAPORE’S FUTURE GROWTH
Innovation and IP are drivers of Singapore’s future growth.
- In his Budget speech earlier this year, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat outlined how we will transform our economy through enterprise and innovation.
- Right innovation outcomes will result in value creation for companies, and value capture for Singapore.
- At an even more fundamental level, innovation is about new ways to do things, to meet the evolving needs of people and society.
- Done right, innovation and IP will continue to create high-value added jobs. Studies have shown that companies which own IP:
- generate more revenue;
- generate more revenue per employee; and
- pay higher salaries.
- IP generates revenue in more ways than direct sales, for example through licensing.
- Many companies have used a licensing model to capture value from investments in research and innovation.
- Take Qualcomm, a US-based mobile technology company, for example. Qualcomm generates $7billion, or 30% of its revenue, from licensing revenue each year.
- IP can also be used as collateral for business financing.
- In June this year, the Development Bank of Singapore approved a seven-figure IP-backed loan to Masai International Pte Ltd, under the IP Financing Scheme administered by IPOS’ subsidiary, IP ValueLab.
- SINGAPORE - FUTURE IP HUB OF ASIA
- Let me share:
- a quick stocktake of where we are in our journey to be an IP hub in Asia; and
- our plans for the future.
- Singapore’s IP regime has consistently maintained a high international ranking.
- World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015 to 2016 ranked Singapore as having the best IP protection in Asia, based on the infrastructure and incentives put in place by the government to encourage innovation.
- IPOS has developed strong in-house patent search and examination capabilities, housed in its subsidiary, IPOS-International.
- Today, IPOS is one of 20 International Authorities in Patent Search and Examination, and the only Authority in ASEAN.
- IPOS-International’s team of highly qualified patent examiners is also capable of cutting-edge technology forecasting and patent analytics.
- This can enable better upstream R&D decisions, and will be of great service to Singapore.
- IPOS aims to be a global partner for IP and innovation.
- IPOS has established a representative office in the Guangzhou Knowledge City. This office links our IP services providers to Chinese enterprises seeking to expand overseas.
OUR FUTURE PLANS
- Moving forward, we will focus on three areas:
- One, we will continue to shape and administer a robust IP regime.
- Two, we will build a vibrant IP ecosystem and marketplace.
- Three, we will grow our pool of IP and innovation management expertise.
Shape and administer a robust IP regime
- We have undertaken major IP reviews.
- We completed the review of our Registered Designs regime earlier this year. The final report released on 16 March.
- The review of our Copyright regime is ongoing. We are launching the public consultation today.
These reviews will further strengthen our IP regime and allow it to keep current with technological advances, business needs and societal developments.
Build a vibrant IP ecosystem and marketplace
- More will be done to help businesses develop a strong competitive advantage through IP.
- The IP Financing Scheme has been enhanced to allow copyright and trade marks to be used as collateral, in addition to granted patents.
- As businesses move up the IP value chain, more IP transactions will take place.
- Confidence and transparency in IP valuation and reporting is necessary to support such transactions.
- IPOS and IP ValueLab will be developing IP valuation best practices to enhance the quality, consistency and transparency of the pricing of IP in the marketplace.
Grow our pool of IP and innovation management expertise
We will build IP and innovation management expertise.
IP management is important to enable companies to effectively monetise their technology, brands and content.
The IP management skillset is multi-disciplinary. It is a combination of law, business and technology.
IPOS will be launching a Graduate Programme in IP and Innovation Management with UniSIM.
- The programme will be practice-based.
- The goal is to equip 20 to 25 professionals with IP and innovation management skills each year, over the next three years.
Innovation and IP are important and valuable business assets in our future economy.
This conference is timely as it explores some of the exciting opportunities for businesses to capitalise on IP, to drive future innovation and business growth.
- I wish you all a productive and fruitful conference.