Supporting Innovation and Businesses – Dialogue Between National Intellectual Property (IP) Offices in Asia-Pacific

November 23, 2021

On November 18 and 19, 2021, the WIPO Singapore Office (WSO) and the IP for Business Division (IPBD) held an online regional workshop with a focus on supporting the transition of IP offices in the Asia-Pacific Region into innovation enablers. The webinar was organized in cooperation with the Singapore Cooperation Program (SCP) and with the assistance of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

Photo: WIPO

The workshop generated exchanges between the panelists and participants to assist IP Offices develop more services and support in their efforts to enhance business innovation and growth.

On the first day of the webinar, the speaker from WIPO presented WIPO’s work in mapping business support services offered by IP Offices in specific regions. The representatives from IP Australia and Israel Patent Office shared their experience and current initiatives in researching the needs and perceptions of businesses in order to provide better business support services. On the second day of the webinar, representatives from six IP Offices in the Asia-Pacific Region (Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia) presented their activities and new servicesto support enterprises in today’s business environment, as well as their cooperation with WIPO in this area.

Photo: WIPO

Group discussion on how IP Offices can make changes to help businesses highlighted some of the challenges IP offices face in supporting businesses:

  • Lack of human resources with the required skills within IP Offices;
  • Lack of financial and technical capacities;
  • Structural challenges;
  • Digital transformation; and
  • Creating a “positive change of mindset” among SMEs toward embracing intellectual property.

It was underlined that in the current business environment, IP Offices need to contribute to wider IP awareness of businesses through various programs that inform and educate businesses about the value of registering, valuing, commercializing, and enforcing IPRs, including the benefits related to increased competitiveness and faster business development. IP Offices must also have agility in the services they provide and the way they promote them in order to adapt to the evolving needs of businesses. They also need to embrace their roll of key collaborator and partner with a multitude of stakeholders in the innovation and IP ecosystem and must use its unique position in the innovation ecosystem to connect common interests.

Participants shared their ideas through a survey on how WIPO could further shape its support for IP Offices in moving beyond their traditional roles as registries of IP rights towards a more proactive role as an enabler and facilitator of innovation by supporting innovation actors. The importance to receive continued guidance by WIPO in developing business support tools, platforms and services for businesses was emphasized.

The webinar attracted 125 participants from 14 member states and the feedback received from the participants during the Q&A sessions and post-workshop survey, confirmed their high interest and engagement.

Based on the workshop discussions and outcomes, it is expected that this activity will lead IP Offices in the region to offer more impactful and practical services for various business sectors.