Singapore ranks 10th out of 50 nations in International IP Index

Singapore ranked 10th out of 50 global economies in the latest US Chamber International Intellectual Property Index.

The index, which analyses the IP climate in 50 global economies, is brought out by the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC). The US maintained its top spot, followed by UK and Sweden. India’s rank moved up to 36 among 50 economies.

The report applauded  the strong performance of smaller economies such as Singapore and Switzerland which it said stands out. “Despite their relatively small size—in terms of both population and economic output—these economies are highly integrated into the global economy and benefit from high rates of in-licensing,” it added.

Singapore maintained its global leadership in online copyright enforcement. Photo courtesy: Wikimedia

Under category 1, which measures the strength of an economy’s environment for Patents, Related Rights, and Limitations, Singapore is ranked number 1 narrowly ahead of a group of EU member states, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea and US, all of which are tied for 2nd place.

Singapore maintained its global leadership in online copyright enforcement. The report mentioned how in 2014, Singapore passed amendments to its Copyright Act strengthening rights holders recourse mechanisms against online piracy. 2018 also saw further developments relating to this law as the High Court ordered internet service providers to disable access to another 53 websites after a new request from the Motion Picture Association of America.

As per the report, Singapore’s overall score has decreased from 83.63% in the 6th edition to 82.49% in the 7th edition. The report highlighted that this reflected a mixed performance on the new indicators included in the index of which Singapore underperformed. The new indicators included barriers to technology transfer, registration and disclosure of licensing deals, criminal sanctions and tax incentives for creating IP assets. On the other hand, Singapore saw a score increase on indicator 10 as a result of stronger copyright enforcement.

The report also noted how Singaporean tax law offers a generous capped R&D tax credit of up to 400% on qualifying R&D expenditure. Likewise, the government also has an “angel investors tax deduction” program that provides a tax deduction for 50% of the qualifying investment amount.

“Singapore is an active participant in efforts to accelerate patent prosecution but lack of transparency and data on customs seizures of IP-infringing goods dragged the city’s score,” the report added.