Singapore recently launched its 2017 Intellectual Property Week with the signing of a Memoranda of Understanding with Deloitte, which will provide assistance to 100 of the country’s most promising enterprises in terms of turning all of their ideas into assets.

The investment believes that the city’s residents are perhaps its most valuable resources, and that they also hold the keys to unlocking both a vibrant economy and future technologies.

Singapore has repeatedly ranked among the best in the entire world in terms of its overall IP environment, and this year, the International Property Rights Index – which is designed to rank countries around the world according to how they protect both intellectual and physical property rights – reported that Singapore is the best country in the region for protecting IP rights. This meant that they beat New Zealand, which had been ranked first overall.

Singapore’s Intellectual Property Office has always pursued the toughest IP standards in order to help attract both investors and businesses alike and to help them register all of their IP assets in the country. As a result, this would bring high-paying jobs, as well as incentivize innovation.

Multiple studies have shown that countries who have the strongest IP protections also have the following:

  • More full-time researchers
  • Ability to attract greater investments in R&D, as well as Foreign Direct Investment
  • Ability to employ large portions of the workforce in higher-paying IP-related industries

There are also groups that emerge who demand that IP protections be weakened. This is because they believe that some industries don’t actually deserve all of the same protections as others, or that a potential balance may be able to be achieved between affordability and the ability to access specific goods that may have been deemed to be essential. For instance, the World Health Organization is one such group that has done this through the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control by advising countries to ban branding on cigarette packs. This is a process that is commonly referred to as plain packaging.

Since Singapore is avoiding this type of practice, they have remained in good standing with multiple other IP leaders such as the following:

  • United States
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Sweden

Brands always allow a consumer to attribute a reputation to a company and the products that they sell; however, if a company creates a faulty product, then a consumer will know to never purchase it again since they will always remember the brand name. Alternatively, name brands can always charge higher prices due to the brand itself signifying a higher quality good that garners an equally higher demand. If a company loses the ability to brand, they will also lose the incentive to deliver what their customers value the most. This could then lead to counterfeiters being able to easily reproduce packages that look legitimate.