IPOS International Celebrates 20 Years of IP Capability-building and 10 Years of Patent Search and Examination Expertise

Posted on 10 Aug, 2023
By IPOS International

The IPOS family is proud to celebrate the 20th and 10th anniversary milestones of Singapore’s dedicated intangible assets (IA) and intellectual property (IP) academy and patent search and examination (S&E) expertise arm. As part of IPOS International, the IP Academy and Patent Search, Examination and Analytics units have contributed significantly to the shaping of our nation’s innovation economy. Their pivotal roles in catalysing innovation and building IA/IP capability have profoundly impacted Singapore’s position as a global-Asia node of technology, innovation, and enterprise today. Together, their 30 years of cumulative strength and technical expertise are central in the lead up to achieving the Singapore IP Strategy 2030 (SIPS 2030).

This year, we look back on our journey two decades in the making and counting, as we drive and fulfil our commitments towards SIPS 2030.


Two decades of national capability building for Singapore and beyond with IP Academy

Over two decades, IP Academy has transformed to align seamlessly with the evolving needs of Singapore’s economy. First established on 28 January 2003, IP Academy set out to broaden and deepen national capabilities in IA/IP by providing executive training for IP professionals. Most notable was the Graduate Certificate in IP Law programme, developed and launched in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS). It was the first and only prerequisite course to qualify professionals as patent agents at the time. In addition, it spearheaded research publications on key IP topics leaning towards a legal focus.

IP Academy has since grown its repertoire of courses to include short courses, certificate programmes, customised training, and more. These efforts are aimed to better serve Singapore and the ASEAN region as we transition to an increasingly innovation-forward economy. Today, some of its signature flagship programmes return annually to meet steady demand for IA and IP skills and education. These include the Developments in IP Law series, Specialist Certificate in Intangible Asset Management course, and Master of IP and Innovation Management (MIPIM) programme. MIPIM is offered by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), and integrates law, technology, and business in the context of IP.

Annually, IP Academy trains and empowers over 6,000 learners who come from diverse fields – from academia to industry, private enterprises to public agencies. As IA and IP continue to rise in prominence as horizontal enablers in our economy, IP Academy is constantly evolving and adapting its offerings. It will continue to introduce strategic training to address emerging IA/IP needs across a myriad of professions, such as content creators, start-up founders, senior business leaders, and more, as it drives the third thrust of SIPS 2030 – developing good jobs and valuable skills in IA/IP.


A decade at the forefront of tech and innovation with Patent Search, Examination and Analytics

Singapore’s patent S&E expertise arm was formed 10 years ago in response to a notable surge of innovation activities into our city state from across the globe. Foreign firms had increasingly brought their research and development (R&D) activities here, to benefit from Singapore’s robust IP regime. The new patent S&E unit was officially inaugurated on 28 May 2013, to enhance our suite of services that support the R&D ecosystem.

This heralded a new career path in Singapore and the region – Patent Examiners. The unit successfully propelled IPOS to become the first in ASEAN to be recognised as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority (ISA/IPEA) recognition in 2014. That same year, it was also awarded the prestigious ISO 9001:2008 certification for its quality management system. Now known as the Patent Search, Examination and Analytics (SEA) unit, the team has expanded to empower more innovators to bring quality innovations to market with speed and greater confidence. One notable achievement is the first-of-its-kind SG IP FAST programme, which allows patents to be granted as fast as six months, compared to the usual two- to four-year period.

Today, we have over 100 Patent Examiners in four specialised divisions who continue to push the envelope in innovation and ingenuity. They cover the fields of biotechnology, chemistry and materials, engineering, and information and communication technologies (ICT) and computer-implemented inventions. In view of ever-changing tech and legal landscapes, the SEA team continually makes concerted efforts to review S&E processes and practices to keep them relevant, expedient, and effective. SEA is also finding new opportunities to harness and meld both its S&E and patent analytics capabilities – one example was the Tech Insights through Patents (TIP) tool launched last year to help businesses get a good glimpse of patenting trends in artificial intelligence. Looking further ahead, the unit is also collectively building momentum towards spotlighting defining patenting trends across the globe to inform and bolster major business and R&D decisions. Last but not least, SEA is also working closely with IPOS on the SPEED and Collaborative S&E programmes to deepen cross-border patent cooperation, which are pivotal to driving the first thrust of SIPS 2030 – strengthening Singapore’s position as a global hub for IA/IP.


Building a global hub, growing enterprises, and creating jobs with the Singapore IP Strategy 2030

The Singapore IP Strategy 2030 is a national strategy that supports enterprises and the wider innovation community. It will contribute to Singapore’s position as a global-Asia node of technology, innovation, and enterprise. IA and IP play a crucial role in Singapore’s economic and industry transformation plans, set out by the Future Economy Council and Emerging Stronger Taskforce. The combined efforts of the IPOS group will be the game-changer in achieving this vision.

The IP Academy and SEA unit’s 30 years of cumulative expertise, enterprising spirit, and constant innovation is testament to IPOS International’s commitment to driving SIPS 2030. To this end, IPOS International continues to shape the innovation landscape through our unique role—as an innovation catalyst, capability builder, and thought leader in IA and IP. We will continue forging ahead through inculcating IP literacy, providing high quality patent expertise, and helping enterprises reap tangible value from IA with IP strategy. We thank all our stakeholders who have journeyed with us over the last two decades, and look forward to your continued support as we blaze the trail towards SIPS 2030.