Intellectual Property (IP) Protection Means Higher Growth and Quality Jobs


The 2015 Global Intellectual Property Center Index ranks Singapore first among Asian economies and fifth among all economies surveyed in this map of the international IP environment.  The index, developed by the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, investigates the IP conditions of 30 economies that comprise nearly 80 percent of global gross domestic product.


Offering compelling, data-based evidence of the economic value of rigorous IP regimes, a new annex to the 2015 GIPC Index provides first-of-its-kind data on correlations between strong IP protections and thriving innovative economies.  The annex identifies a positive relationship between:


  • Strong IP rights and R&D expenditure: Companies in economies with advanced IP systems are 40% more likely to invest in R&D.
  • Strong IP rights and high-value job growth: Economies with favorable IP regimes employ more than half their workforce in knowledge-intensive sectors.
  • Strong IP rights and FDI: Strong IP protections in the life sciences sector account for 40% of life sciences investment. Additionally, economies with beneficial IP protection see 9-10 times more life sciences investment than countries with weak IP protections.
  • Strong IP rights and innovative activity: Economies with robust IP environments yield 50% more innovative output compared to countries with IP regimes in need of improvement.


The report highlights Singapore’s many strengths among the 30 indicators examined, including recent amendments to the Copyright Act that strengthened the overall framework and mechanisms available against online piracy, an advanced national IP framework, patent linkage and an adequate patent enforcement legal framework, an adequate regime for legal software in the government, a legal framework provides for protection of unregistered marks, enforcement of exclusive trademark rights, and the existence of ex officio authority for customs officials.


The report enumerates key areas of weakness, including still relatively high rates of software piracy as surveyed by BSA 2014, high rates of per capita P2P sharing, relatively high rates of trademark counterfeiting, and limits on ex officio powers with regards to in-transit seizure.


Singapore made the decision decades ago that its economy would grow more rapidly, the quality of the jobs for its citizens would improve more quickly, and the forward momentum of its development would accelerate more reliably if it implemented a world-class system to protect IP.


American companies recognize the immense value of Singapore’s IP regime.  We can all see the results in the remarkable expansion of R&D facilities, innovation centers, and manufacturing platforms for ultra-sophisticated products.


Singapore’s position in the 2015 GIPC Index as the highest-rated country in Asia is a real tribute to Singapore’s determination.  The authorities recognize that IP creation is never static and they continue to bring important improvements to Singapore’s IP system.  AmCham Singapore looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the government in this vital area.



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