Opening Remarks: TCTP Online Course on Adapting Intellectual Property Laws to Promote Innovation and Creativity in New Technologies

For Immediate Release

Opening Remarks by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel Bischof

Third Country Training Program (TCTP) Online Course on Adapting Intellectual Property Laws to Promote Innovation and Creativity in New Technologies

September 17, 2020

-Good morning! It is a pleasure to be here at the launch of our first fully virtual joint Singapore – United States Third Country Training Programme online course on “Adapting Intellectual Property Laws to Promote Innovation and Creativity in New Technologies”.

-While I regret not being able to meet you in person, we are happy to hold this training virtually and are grateful to our friends at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore – in particular Kok Kitt-Wai and Janis Kam –  and the US Patent and Trademark Office’s Global Intellectual Property Academy for making this happen.

-To some extent going virtual actually fits the theme of this training course. This pandemic has shown all of us the endless potential of digitalization and how innovation can help us be prepared for any future challenge. This is nothing new and we all are aware of how much new technologies will be driving our future economies but this pandemic has made some of these abstract concepts just a little bit more real.

-But in order to ensure innovators are incentivized, we need to ensure that intellectual property rights are firmly established in our systems.

-This is why we are so happy that the World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO is the first specialized UN agency to be headed by a Singaporean – Daren Tang, the former Chief Executive of our esteemed partner of this training course IPOS. I would like to once again congratulate Mr. Tang, IPOS, the government and people of Singapore for this great achievement.

-Mr. Tang’s selection is emblematic of the important role Singapore plays in ensuring intellectual property remains with the person it belongs to – the scientists, engineers, developers, artists, and small inventors at home. It was encouraging to see the Ministry of Law outlined intellectual property as one of the government priorities for the next term of government.

-Both ASEAN and the United States are centers of innovation. The sheer number of start-ups and unicorns – the Grabs, Go-Jeks, Tokopedias, VNGs, and Revolution Precrafted – are proof of this. In 2019, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted the most patents ever – 333,530 – and WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty System received more than 265,000 applications, more than half of them coming from Asia.

-Beside the rule of law and the strong ASEAN market, intellectual property rights are one of the key factors that attract U.S. companies when they decide to invest in this region. But this goes beyond existing companies – only if intellectual property rights are guaranteed, can cooperation and joint ventures in Research and Development create new products and drive innovation. Intellectual property rights provide the security framework we need to be bold and strive for the most innovative solutions by working together.

-Over the next months you will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into intellectual property. You will learn the legal and theoretical frameworks, things to consider when drafting policies, and how to implement them in practice. You will be able to share your best practices, learn from each other, and exchange ideas with experts from the United States and this region on the key aspects in protecting intellectual property.

-We understand that countries in Southeast Asia are aware of the importance of intellectual property rights. We believe in the potential of the regional ASEAN market and the domestic markets. We share the same interests in terms of free flow of information and diffusion of innovation. This is why we are delighted to host this joint training and are convinced that when this program concludes in January you all will be equipped with the right knowledge and tools to promote innovation and creativity in new technologies in your countries through intellectual property laws.

-Thank you and I wish you a successful and most enriching training course!