Free legal clinics for public to seek advice on IP issues

Free legal clinics for public to seek advice on IP issues
“Streets of Creativity – Creati-ffiti” mural at the World IP Day Appreciation Event. (From left) IPOS Chief Executive Mr Tan Yih San; Guest-of-Honour Ms Denise Phua, Member of Parliament, Moulmein-Kallang GRC and Mayor of Central Singapore District; and Chairman of IPOS Board of Directors Dr. Stanley Lai.

SINGAPORE - Businesses and entrepreneurs will soon be able to tap on free legal advice from intellectual property legal clinics, where experts advise on pertinent issues such as remedies and enforcement actions, which one could adopt in IP dispute cases.

The legal clinics are launched as part of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore's (IPOS) new community outreach programme - "Embracing Intellectual Property @ IP 101" and announced at the 2015 World IP Day Appreciation Event held earlier on Thursday.

The programme is focused on helping businesses, innovators, professionals and the community to respect, protect and use IP for improving the quality of lives, as well as business and economic growth.

It was announced earlier on Thursday at the 2015 World IP Day Appreciation Event. IPOS also released findings of an IP survey that showed 4 in 5 Singaporeans agreed that it is important to protect intellectual property rights (IPR) and works of IP creators.

The survey was done last November.

Other key results include the finding that Singaporeans have high IP awareness and respect, with 3 in 5 who regard buying counterfeit products as a form of theft, and 1 in 2 who view online IPR infringements as a form of theft.

Convenience and unwillingness to pay for content were cited as key drivers for online IPR infringements.

Dr Stanley Lai, Chairman of IPOS' Board of Directors said: "We need an actively engaged and committed IP community to reify the fact that everyone has a role to play to promote and support IP, to further engender creativity and innovation for a better quality of life, and a better Singapore."

Guest of honour at the event, Ms Denise Phua, Mayor of Central Singapore District, said: "It is important that we recognise and support their work to encourage more of such output, and growth of this important creative sector."

IPOS also announced that Singapore was the first country in Southeast Asia to accede to the Marrakesh Treaty effective on March 30 - further proof of the Republic's resolve to improve access to information and IP for the visually impaired.

Beneficiaries can enjoy greater ease and fewer restrictions when producing or sourcing for copyrighted materials.

Mr Francis Tay, Head of Department (Operations), Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH) said: "This is a historic and important moment for the visually impaired community, progressing along with Singapore to realise her vision of becoming an IP Hub of Asia."

And as Singapore celebrates WIPD 2015, a social media campaign with a strong "call-to-action" focus on respecting IP, helmed by newly appointed 2015 IP Ambassadors, The Sam Willows, will be activated across the nation in the months of May and June.

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