March 26, 2023

Working a enterprise will not be simple. In addition to elevating capital, you must rent workers, arrange workplace or manufacturing amenities, and handle funds and operations amongst different issues.

Nonetheless, an often-overlooked space is Mental Property (IP).

IP refers to creations of the thoughts, akin to innovations; literary and creative works; designs; and symbols, names and pictures utilized in commerce. It’s an intangible asset (IA), that means it doesn’t have bodily properties. 

So why is IP essential for enterprise? We hear from just a few main Singapore enterprises to grasp why they place such a robust give attention to IP safety of their respective enterprise methods.

IP protects your corporation

SK Jewelry is among the many prime 5 native filers by way of design for IP Filings 2021 / Picture Credit score: IPOS

Homegrown firm SK Jewelry is aware of the worth of defending its IP. They have been the highest filer for registered designs in 2021, with a complete of 1,453 purposes.

We place nice significance on innovation, the place we constantly problem ourselves to develop new merchandise and designs to face out from the competitors. A number of time is spent in analysis and growth and prototyping. Registering our designs and commerce mark protects our model towards infringements, builds our model and belief with clients and companions, and provides us a aggressive edge.

Daniel Lim, CEO of SK Jewelry

Picture Credit score: SK Jewelry

Lim additionally had a phrase of recommendation for enterprises beginning their IP journey: “Embarking on an IP journey requires assets and dedication; therefore, it is very important perceive the IP legal guidelines which might be distinctive to every commerce, and tips on how to shield an enterprise’s IP.”

Price is a possible concern on the subject of IP safety, however Lim shared that the funding is value it.

“Whereas cash spent on IP safety could appear to be an extra value, it’s a small value to pay on the subject of defending your creations as the choice to [not protecting your IP] could also be even costlier. If an organization has a novel thought or product, it is very important attain out to an IP skilled or get in contact with the Mental Property Workplace of Singapore (IPOS) earlier than launching the product.”

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IP opens up new markets and alternatives

IP may also assist enterprises open up new markets and collaboration alternatives.

Vivo Surgical, a Singapore medtech start-up, makes use of its IP to realize an edge within the extremely aggressive and controlled healthcare trade.

vivo surgical
Picture Credit score: Vivo Surgical

In accordance with Dr Kevin Koh, founder and CEO of Vivo Surgical, IP and IA are each strategically essential elements of its enterprise.

“As a younger firm, our robust IP and IA portfolio helped us rapidly set up credibility with clients and distributors, and construct robust hyperlinks with main well being programs and companions the world over for upstream co-innovation and co-development work,” he stated.

In truth, Vivo Surgical is a finalist on this 12 months’s WIPO-IPOS IP for Innovation Awards.

Because the launch of its first industrial system within the first quarter of 2021, Vivo Surgical’s merchandise at the moment are distributed in a number of worldwide territories.

Vivo Surgical has additionally established relationships with famend well being programs from the USA, Latin America, Europe and Southeast Asia to develop its revolutionary gadgets. This has enabled Vivo Surgical to additional finetune its merchandise to have extra international relevance.

Dr Koh additionally shared some ideas for enterprises on managing their IP and IA.

Don’t get carried away submitting IP registrations suddenly. One of many first concerns we had was about balancing submitting prices versus market entry methods and the important thing markets we see potential in. [After all], one might simply be carried away with desirous to file IP safety in too many territories.

Enterprises must also use patent panorama searches to assist them assess the market potential of their product primarily based on a know-how’s growth life cycle.

– Dr Kevin Koh, founder and CEO of Vivo Surgical

On beginning the IP journey, Dr Koh suggested enterprises to begin  with a basic IP technique that may function a blueprint for the merchandise they want to commercialise.

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“It’s best to contemplate potential beachhead markets, industrial roll-out plans, aggressive know-how threats and patents/logos you wish to file, amongst different issues. These will information your choices as you calibrate your technique alongside the way in which,” he defined. 

IP creates new income streams 

Along with defending merchandise and opening up new markets and alternatives, IP can also be an incredible supply for enterprises to create new income streams.

razer ip awards 2019
Razer on the IP Awards 2019 / Picture Credit score: Kakucho Purei

Homegrown gaming firm Razer Inc. (Razer) isn’t any stranger to the world of innovation and IP. It has filed essentially the most patents and designs in Singapore, registering over 3,000 patents, commerce marks and registered designs since 2005.

This helped Razer to develop its product choices and generate new income streams. Along with its gaming {hardware}, it has gone on to develop a world gaming software program platform with 80 million customers, customised on-line providers, on-line leisure providers, and even fintech options with their digital gaming foreign money Razer Gold.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Razer was even in a position to pivot to manufacturing surgical masks inside only one month. How was it in a position to make this pivot so rapidly?

It relied on its intangible belongings akin to its in-house and medical associate’s (Sunningdale Tech) engineering know-how to repurpose its gaming {hardware} manufacturing strains to masks manufacturing strains. Razer then distributed its masks without cost by merchandising machines geared up with its proprietary Razer Pay e-wallet system, exposing new customers to its fintech product.

Elaine Tan, a Senior Director at Razer’s authorized crew, advised Vulcan Publish that the corporate information patents for 2 foremost causes: defending towards third-party infringement, and recognising the innovation that Razer has put into its merchandise. 

Any tech firm can have IP – together with copyrights, commerce secrets and techniques, patents, designs and commerce marks, and registration for these rights if registrable. Issues for every sort of IP proper might be completely different. We now have to think about whether or not what we’ve is protectable, and if there’s a long-term worth for the IA generated. 

Razer invests closely in IP safety and IA technology. Along with working with exterior IP specialists for the registration and safety of its IP rights, Razer regards its proficient pool of engineers, creators, innovators and builders as worthy investments in direction of IP/IA technology.

–  Elaine Tan, Senior Director, Razer’s authorized crew

razer patent portfolio
Razer’s patent portfolio globally / Picture Credit score: Insights by Greyb

Past defending its IP, Razer additionally invests closely in analysis and growth (R&D) and of their workers to encourage them to create new merchandise.

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As an organization with a market presence world wide, Razer additionally protects its IP in  key markets past Singapore, together with the USA, China and Europe.

“Primarily, anyplace that we do enterprise in, we search to guard our IP,” added Elaine.

Thus far, the corporate has gained a number of awards and international recognition for its imaginative use of IP in its enterprise actions. 

In case you run a enterprise and have but to begin in your IP journey, don’t wait and speak to an IP knowledgeable right now to develop an IP technique to handle your helpful intangible belongings.

You can too attend Singapore’s main IP occasion — IP [email protected] 2022, held from 6 to 7 September 2022 at Marina Bay Sands — to listen to from enterprise leaders and IP specialists. Vulcan Publish readers get pleasure from a 50 per cent low cost on the registration payment with promo code “IPWmVP”.

Register right here earlier than 30 August 2022. 

Featured Picture Credit score: Gene Wang through Flickr / Vivo Surgical / SK Jewelry