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Singapore maintains top position in Asia for IP rights protection

Issued: October 21 2019

Singapore moved up one notch to fourth among 129 countries in the International Property Rights Index (IPRI) 2019 report. Singapore now sits alongside strong IP powerhouses such as Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand, and continues to retain its top spot in Asia.


The index, which ranked 129 countries representing 93.83% of the world’s population and 97.72% of the world’s GDP, placed Singapore within the top countries under the three core categories of (i) legal and political environment, (ii) physical property rights, and (iii) intellectual property rights. The index ranked Singapore top in the category of protection of IP rights in Asia.


In the areas of IP, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) continues to innovate and support enterprises to use IP to grow from Singapore and through Singapore. IPOS recently launched the world’s first trademark registration mobile app, reducing the time taken to file a trademark by 80%, and utilizing AI technology in image search during the registration process. It also announced new initiatives in partnership with eight other ASEAN IP offices to expedite Industry 4.0 patent applications in key emerging technologies such as fintech, cybersecurity and robotics patent applications. An accelerated programme – IPOS Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) – also saw its first use case, with an international firm granted an AI patent in three months, compared to an average of two to four years. These initiatives are part of IPOS’ efforts to catalyze the growth of innovative enterprises, industries and the economy through intellectual property and intangible assets.


“It is an honour to be recognized as a leading country in the protection of property rights," said Daren Tang, chief executive of IPOS. "Societies and economies are becoming more interconnected in the new digital world, where growth and development are driven by IP and intangible assets. This accolade will bolster confidence for innovative enterprises to continue to use Singapore as a hub to manage, grow and deploy their IP and intangible assets into the region and beyond.”


Singapore’s Ranking in IPRI 2019 Report

Developed by US-based Property Rights Alliance, the IPRI serves as a barometer for the strength of protection across physical and intellectual property. It reflects the significant and positive correlation between property rights and indicators of social well-being across dimensions of development such as economic outcomes, strengths of institutions and levels of innovation. It is determined using data from official sources across various international organizations together with case studies compiled across 118 think tanks and policy organizations in 72 countries involved in research, policy development, education and promotion of property rights.


The index also ranked Singapore highly in the Gender Equality Index, which measures equal access to land, credit, property, inheritance and social rights across genders.


Top Countries 2019 Rankin 2018 Ranking Ranking Change
Finland 2 3 -
Switzerland 2 3 ˄ 1
New Zealand 3 2 ˅ 1
Singapore 4 5 ˄ 1
Australia 5 7 ˄ 2
Japan 6 11 ˄ 5
Sweden 7 6 ˅ 1
Norway 8 4 ˅ 4
Luxemburg 9 9 -
Netherlands 10 8 ˅ 2
Canada 11 10 ˅ 1
United States 12 14 ˄ 2
Denmark 13 12 ˅ 1
Austria 14 15 ˄ 1
United Kingdom 15 13 ˅ 2