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Singapore youth aware of IP, but knowledge of IP protection limited, says survey

03 May 2022

Singapore youth aware of IP, but knowledge of IP protection limited, says survey

Seventy percent of youths in Singapore know about intellectual property. Of all the IP assets, copyright is the most familiar to them. However, knowledge of IP protection for content is low.

These were some of the key findings of a Singapore IP and Youth survey jointly conducted by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the National Youth Council (NYC). The survey, participated in by 1,000 respondents aged 16 – 34, was unveiled on April 26, 2022 at an event celebrating World IP Day in Singapore.

Eighty-five percent of the survey participants indicated their familiarity with copyright. Trademark is the second most familiar type of IP to them, with 84 percent stating so. Seventy-three percent said they were familiar with patents. 

Despite their general awareness of IP, their knowledge about types of IP dipped to around 20 percent when probed further. Only 17 percent can identify three types of IP which also include industrial designs, trade secrets and geographical indications (GIs).

Sixty-seven percent of the participants were content creators. Of this number, 43 percent created content for social media, 24 percent created artistic works and 23 percent developed content for branding.

However, 67 percent have not protected the content they created for the following reasons:

  • They believe their content wasn’t worth enough to protect.
  • They don’t believe IP is relevant to their content
  • Lack of knowledge about how to protect IP

In fact, two out of three were not aware of how to protect the content they develop. Furthermore, 56 percent indicated they do not know where to find information about IP.

The survey also found that half of the participants observed IP rules in their everyday life in various ways: crediting images used to owners, legally streaming and downloading music and purchasing authentic goods.

Meanwhile, half of the youth surveyed wanted more government-led education and resources to help them understand IP rules and guide them on IP creation.

“We are committed to supporting our youth in their innovation journey by providing an enabling environment for them to innovate, create and build a better Singapore,” said Alvin Tan, Minister of State, ministry of culture, community and youth & ministry of trade and industry. “I encourage all young creators and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the government schemes and community support available to grow and commercialize your ideas into successful startups and businesses.”

Tan graced the World IP Day celebration which also featured a youth panel discussion themed “Innovating for a Better Future.”

To set up this enabling environment, IPOS has put in place several initiatives such as its Business and Legal Clinics which provides IP advice to entrepreneurs and individuals; Mentoring IP Leaders programme for third and final year law students; Young IP Mediators Initiative which gives law students an opportunity to be involved in IP mediation; Future Leaders in INnovation Transformation for raising awareness on IP for innovation and entrepreneurship among students.

IPOS and SkillsFuture Singapore are also set to work together to integrate IA/IP skills and competencies into relevant job roles and career maps for more developmental pathways in IP.

Additionally, NYC’s Youth Action Challenge has provided over 700 youths with a platform to innovate and turn their ideas into tangible action.

Mentioning that Singaporean youths are increasingly becoming entrepreneurial, Tan said, "In our surveys, more than one in four indicated interest to launch or join a startup when they graduate. And about two in three had created their own content for personal use."


Espie Angelica A. de Leon

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