In line with the development of Singapore as the top intellectual and patent hub in the world, Singapore intellectual office IPOS was named second in the world after European Union (EU). This helps to leverage Singapore’s top class IP regime to nurture more intangible asset rich enterprises, and develop Singapore as a place for innovative enterprises to scale up and access Asian growth markets. Some of the IPOS initiatives included a fast track scheme last April to support fintech businesses from anywhere in the world to bring their IP to the market more speedily, through an accelerated patent-to-grant process in as fast as six months as compared to two years for normal patent applications. And, in September 2018, IPOS’ enterprise engagement arm IP ValueLab signed an agreement to set up an international IP innovation service centre in the Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City.

Singapore was also ranked as the 14th most idea-intensive nation in the world with 543 patents granted per million population in 2017 according to a PwC report in 2019. The number of patents granted globally has increased by a staggering average annual rate of 58% from 510,000 in 2000 to 1.4m in 2017 (according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation).

The no 1 spot was occupied by South Korea, with 2,554 patents granted per million population, followed by Luxembourg with 2,517, Switzerland with 2,371, Japan with 2,239, and Sweden with 1,207.

In terms of the absolute number of patents granted, China was ranked first and generated the most number (350,000) and contributed to 25% of the global number of patents granted. China also entered the Top 20 for the first time with 254 granted per million. China has also granted more patents in computer technologies alone (28,700) than the total of Canada, Australia and Spain combined.