Scheme to draw talent to intellectual property sector

Scheme to draw talent to intellectual property sector

A NEW training scheme has been launched to attract talent to and boost Singapore's growing intellectual property sector.

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (Ipos) and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency yesterday announced a programme to place mid-career workers into IP companies, which will then train them to become registered patent agents.

Patent agents help clients draft patent specifications and can advise them about filing overseas. The hope is to recruit up to 70 professionals over the next two years to join more than 100,000 people already working in the industry.

"This programme builds on Singapore's efforts to professionalise our IP ecosystem, creating more high value-added jobs for Singaporeans," said Ipos chief executive Tan Yih San, adding that this would position the country to "deliver quality IP services to the region and beyond".

Overall patent filings have risen by more than 30 per cent in the past decade to 10,312 last year, up from 7,908 in 2003, the two agencies said.

Under the new programme, to be administered by Ipos, participating Singapore-based firms can have 70 per cent of course fees funded, capped at $7,350. A monthly training allowance capped at $2,000 per trainee or $4,000 if they are aged 40 and above will also be provided for six months.

The move is timely as the focus on research and development has produced many inventions that need protection, said patent agent Daniel Poh, a partner at IP firm Marks & Clerk.

Firms are typically limited by the high cost of hiring new trainees - a graduate certificate in IP can cost $12,000 and it takes around three years of on-the-job training to qualify as a patent agent, said Mr Poh.

"The funding would help firms be more ambitious in hiring good quality professionals," he said.

joseow@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on April 8, 2015.
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