In a noteworthy development, a memorandum of understanding in the field of industrial property has been signed for the first time between India and Singapore on October 4, 2016, during the ongoing visit of Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong to India.
The press release made by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore in this respect is reproduced below:
“TOP INNOVATIVE ECONOMIES IN ASIA SIGN FIRST INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY COOPERATION TO SPUR INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM
Singapore, 04 October 2016 – The innovation capabilities of businesses in India and Singapore could soon benefit from closer bilateral relations and collaborations in the area of industrial property.
2. On a working visit to India this week, Singapore’s Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, together with India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, witnessed the signing of a milestone Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP). This is the two countries’ first bilateral MoU on industrial property cooperation.
3. Under the MoU, a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) will be established, which will facilitate bilateral exchanges and cooperation to foster innovation, and support Indian companies in tapping on Singapore as a regional intellectual property hub for their innovation-related activities. The two agencies will:
- Exchange best practices, experiences and knowledge on industrial property awareness, initiatives and programmes
- Exchange personnel to deepen industrial property capabilities
- Organise industrial property events with and/or for the larger industrial property community, including members from academia and research & development institutions
- Cooperate on modernisation projects, such as IT systems to better manage industrial property processes
- Train local industrial property and business communities
4. Brimming with industrial property activities, India is a natural partner for Singapore. India is ranked 9th and 14th worldwide in 2014 in receipts of trade mark and patent applications respectively . India also had the fastest growth (+82%) in patent grants, increasing from 3,377 in 2013 to 6,153 in 2014. More recently, Singapore and India both earned top spots in their respective regions in the Global Innovation Index  (GII) 2016 report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) .
5. Secretary of DIPP, Shri Ramesh Abhishek said, “The MoU sets a new milestone between DIPP and IPOS for enhanced cooperation in the field of industrial property to help foster innovation vital for driving economic growth.”
6. Chief Executive of IPOS, Mr Daren Tang, said, “This MoU reaffirms our mutual commitment towards greater cooperation in supporting the innovation ecosystem. Facilitating the cross-border flow of intellectual property information and skill sets spurs the innovation-driven economy forward, and IPOS is excited to partner businesses in Singapore and India as they pursue innovation locally and beyond.”
This MoU was approved by the Indian Government on September 28, 2016 and its press release states the MoU to be a “landmark step forward in India’s journey towards becoming a major player in global innovation”, which “will further the objectives of the National IPR Policy, 2016”. This press release can be accessed here.
 The GII is a leading benchmarking tool that provides insights into the state of innovation around the world. It compares the innovation performance of 128 economies worldwide.
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