Singapore improves global intellectual property index score but slips to 9th spot

SINGAPORE – Singapore has improved its score in the latest United States Chamber of Commerce intellectual property (IP) index, but this did not prevent it from slipping one place to rank ninth out of 50 economies.

Singapore’s score of 84 per cent (33.45 out of 40 indicators) put it ahead of countries such as Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. But it remains second in the Asia-Pacific region, just behind Japan.

The US tops the list, with European countries – Britain, Sweden, France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands – taking the next six places.

The sixth edition of the annual index was released on Thursday by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC).

Singapore’s score was an improvement from the fifth edition, where it scored 82 per cent.

The GIPC said that this “reflects a strong performance in the new indicators added”. Six indicators were added in this edition, including membership in Patent Prosecution Highways (PPHs), which are information-sharing initiatives between patent offices; expeditious injunctive-style relief and disabling of infringing content; and “IP as an economic asset”.

There are also three indicators in a new “systemic efficiency” category, which captures government measures that enhance their IP system, such as IP awareness campaigns.

The report identified Singapore’s key strengths to be its advanced national IP framework, and its active participation in efforts to accelerate patent prosecution, such as having PPHs in place and taking part in the Global PPH.

Singapore’s weaknesses, on the other hand, are its relatively high incidence of software piracy, and its lack of transparency and data on customs seizures of IP-infringing goods.

Estimated software piracy has fallen to 30 per cent from 35 per cent in 2009, “but is still quite high for a high-income economy”, said the report.