Singapore, 18 May 2015 – The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of the People’s Republic of China furthered bilateral relations on 18 May 2015, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade mark cooperation that will see Singapore and China enhance exchanges on trade mark registration, examination practices, protection and enforcement.
The MoU was signed by Mr Tan Yih San, Chief Executive of IPOS, and Mr Liu Yuting, Vice Minister of SAIC. Under the agreement, Singapore and China will:
- Exchange information and best practices related to trade mark registration and protection;
- Develop capacity-building activities such as training on the examination of trade marks, oppositions, and dispute resolution proceedings;
- Facilitate exchanges of IP officials and experts;
- Conduct joint activities such as conferences on developments in the field of trade mark; and
- Collaborate to educate IP rights holders in both countries on trade mark protection and enforcement.
In 2014, bilateral trade between the two countries rose 11 per cent year-on-year to reach $115.2 billion. Singapore is China’s largest foreign investor with US$7.3 billion (S$9.3 billion) worth of investments last year. China is Singapore’s largest trading partner.
Mr Liu said, “The MoU will further strengthen the cooperation and coordination between China and Singapore to provide more support to trade mark owners growing and protecting their trade mark portfolios both in China and Singapore.”
Mr Tan said, “This MoU strengthens the linkages between the two countries’ trade mark and brands. It facilitates Chinese companies’ effort to expand their operations in Singapore and the larger ASEAN region. It will also welcome Singapore companies and MNCs based in Singapore to have greater access to the China Market with their trade marks and brands.”
Since 2013, trade mark applications by class count in China exceeded 1.8 million annually, making the country the top trade-marking destination in the world. To better assist companies seeking brand protection in the region, the ASEAN Working Group on IP Cooperation, currently chaired by Singapore, has expedited and streamlined trade mark cooperation regionally, including the development of the ASEAN TMview, a common online trade mark information platform of the ASEAN Member States aimed at making ASEAN trade mark data widely available and accessible, and with free access to over 2 million ASEAN trade marks through the ASEAN IP Portal.