In the News

June 2012

Singapore sees role as an Asian IP Hub

Singapore’s Minister of Law, Mr. K. Shanmugam, recently announced plans to develop Singapore into an intellectual property (IP) hub for Asia that will service the potential growth in demand for IP services in the region.

The task of developing the IP Hub Master Plan that will guide this initiative falls to the IP Steering Group chaired by Mr. Teo Ming Kian, Chairman of MediaCorp Pte Ltd. “Singapore is in a strong position to be developed into an Asian IP hub, given its legal and financial services infrastructure, and robust IP regime,” Mr. Teo Ming Kian said. The growth of our IP service industry could further accelerate our transition to a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy, and create high-value job opportunities in Singapore. Companies and inventors in Singapore and the region will have greater access to a wider network of global IP service providers which, in turn, could draw in more service providers and encourage more inventions and innovation.” The Steering Committee aims to finalize and submit its recommendations to the government in mid 2012.

Pakistan launches SMEs initiative

An initiative to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their use of the IP system was launched in April 2012 by the Intellectual Property Office of Pakistan (IPO-Pakistan) and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, SMEDA, according to a report in The Baluchistan Times. The initiative involves the establishment in key centers around the country of a number of IP “Facilitation Desks”, to provide companies with the facilities and information required to protect their IP. The Director General of IPO-Pakistan said that promoting greater use of IP among SMEs was a core objective of IPO-Pakistan’s public outreach program. SMEDA’s CEO, Mr. Yousuf Naseem Khokhar, noted that SMEs, which accounted for over 90 percent of the country’s business activity, play a vital role in Pakistan’s economic development.

INTA unveils anti-counterfeiting campaign

In May 2012, the International Trademark Association (INTA), which brings together major fashion and consumer product brands, unveiled its Unreal campaign to educate teens about the value of trademarks and the negative effects of counterfeiting.

The awareness initiative is being rolled out using social media platforms including Facebook, traditional media platforms and special events such as high school visits. It also includes a series of video clips on YouTube in which teens share real-life experiences of how buying counterfeit products has affected them. The campaign will initially focus on the US, but will expand to other countries in the future.

INTA’s initial research on how young people perceive counterfeiting indicates that, while they are conscious of the availability of fake goods and have a keen awareness of branded products, they are unaware of the potential harm that counterfeiting can cause.

INTA’s Executive Director, Alan C. Drewsen, explains, “we see the Unreal campaign not only as a way to educate teens about counterfeiting, but also about the value of intellectual property and the important role that trademarks play in our daily lives and the economy.” He said, “Teens’ purchasing power will only increase over time, and they will soon be the next generation of consumers. With that in mind, we see a tremendous opportunity for INTA to arm teens with as much information about the economic, social and health risks involved with counterfeiting as possible. It is our hope that this information will influence their decision the next time they are approached by a site or vendor selling counterfeit goods.”

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