IP Outreach Research > IP Use and Awareness


Title: Survey of Innovation and Intellectual Property Creation and Usage among Singapore Firms
Author: [NUS Entrepreneurship Centre]

IP Academy Singapore

Year: 2006


Subject/Type: IP Protection
Focus: Commercialisation, Economic / Financial Impact, Patents
Country/Territory: Singapore
Objective: To explore the emerging structure, performance and development constraints of several key IP-based industries, and to form initial estimates on intellectual property creation and usage in Singapore.
Sample: Firms covering a range of industries in the high-tech manufacturing and service sectors
Methodology: Survey

Main Findings

75% of firms surveyed have successfully introduced innovations over the last three years, with the manufacturing and service sectors being equally innovative. Product innovation (at 66.8%) is more common than process innovation (at 41.4%). Innovation commercialisation levels are found to have increased, with over 60% of product innovators generating one quarter or more of their turnover from new/improved products.

37.6% of firms have applied for patents (43.2% of innovating firms and 21.3% of non-innovating firms), and about 28% own patents that are still in effect (33.1% of innovating firms and 12.8% of non-innovating firms). Ownership of non-patent intellectual property (IP) is more widespread, with almost half the firms reporting to own some form of non-patent IP. The most popular non-patent IP are trademarks.

Most patents generated (76.8%) are either used solely for developing the firms' own products and processes, or simultaneously used in-house and licensed out. A surprisingly large proportion of patents is not utilised (almost 25%). In-house usage of patents contributes more to firm revenues than licensing them to third parties; licensing non-patent IP is more lucrative than licensing of patents.

Firms were also found not to fully track their IP usage, not to fully exploit their IP, not to accord high strategic priority to IP, and to lack mature IP strategies.

Singapore's IP environment is generally favourably perceived, both in terms of its framework for IP protection and its IP rights enforcement.

The following policy implications are highlighted: a need for education (to emphasise the importance of IP to firms with innovation activities); a need for assistance (with a view to improving IP management processes, through training and education programs, or partnerships with IP consultants/service providers); and a need for capacity building.

[Date Added: Aug 18, 2008 ]