Boost for companies as Government agrees IP deal with Singapore

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BRITISH firms are set to benefit from a new agreement over intellectual property which the Government has signed with Singapore.

The new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will improve international cooperation between the two nations on issues involving copyright, patents, trade marks and designs.

UK Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “Singapore is an influential voice on issues of intellectual property in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Support from IP leaders is invaluable in developing robust global frameworks across the ASEAN region.

“This MOU will allow the UK and Singapore to share best practice in areas such as intellectual property rights protection, IP-related research and the streamlining of IP court processes.”

Mr Tan Yih San, chief executive of IPOS, said, “We are pleased to formalise our cooperation with the UK on innovation and intellectual property rights.

“ This MOU reaffirms our mutual commitment to increase cross-border IP cooperation and provide a robust IP system for businesses and creators looking to expand into the UK, and those seeking to venture into the ASEAN region.”

Many UK firms use Singapore as their regional headquarters and as a springboard into the wider region.

South East Asia is of increasing importance for UK trade and export – a fact highlighted by the Prime Minister’s visit to the region in July.

The region is expected to grow at five per cent this year with potential to unlock huge opportunities for UK business.

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman said: “The region has a rapidly increasing consumer market and is expected to become the fourth largest single market by 2030 through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). This visit emphasises the importance of IP in the UK’s relationship with South East Asia, and the benefits that close cooperation on IP can bring to the wider UK-ASEAN trade relationship.”