Intellectual property is an exciting and growing industry sector with many career opportunities and options. Find out more about making IP your vocation of choice, and build on your skills towards a rewarding career path!

The Skills Framework is a SkillsFuture initiative developed for the Singapore workforce to promote skills mastery and lifelong learning. Developed by SkillsFuture Singapore, Workforce Singapore and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore together with employers, industry associations, education and training providers, the Skills Framework for Intellectual Property will provide comprehensive information on the sector, career pathways, job roles, skills required, as well as relevant training programmes for skills upgrading and mastery.

SFw-IP Career Map (Website)

For information, please refer to the Skills Framework for Intellectual Property here.

Search and Examination Track

Sub-track: Trade Marks

1. Trade Mark Examiner/Associate Trade Mark Examiner

The Trade Mark Examiner/Associate Trade Mark Examiner works at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, and conducts thorough search and substantive examination to ensure that a trade mark is registrable in accordance with the Trade Marks legislation. He/She reviews and processes trade mark applications under the Trade Marks Act and Madrid Protocol, which includes checking classifications of goods and services against the NICE Classification, and conducting and analysing relevant searches to determine if a trade mark is eligible for registration.

The Trade Mark Examiner/Associate Trade Mark Examiner composes office actions that clearly raises all appropriate legal objections and requirements with justification on the examiner's findings. He is expected to communicate with applicants or their legal representatives on the outcome of the examination, and consider responses to these objections. He also provides assistance to members of the public who have queries on trade mark-related matters.

The Trade Mark Examiner/Associate Trade Mark Examiner possess good research, analytical, and written and verbal communication skills. Apart from examination of applications, he will also be tasked to take on roles and responsibilities which are necessary for the proper functioning of the Registry.


2. Principal Trade Mark Examiner/Senior Trade Mark Examiner

The Principal Trade Mark Examiner/Senior Trade Mark Examiner coaches and provides guidance to other trade mark examiners on their application of professional judgement and practice in trade mark examination, and on improving the quality of the Registry’s services. He/She typically leads a team, and structures opportunities for team members to practice and demonstrate their knowledge and skills. He monitors progress and provides recommendation to suit career paths of team members.

The Principal Trade Mark Examiner/Senior Trade Mark Examiner keeps abreast with legal, technical and procedural knowledge relevant to trade mark examination and practices, and reviews existing policies and practices to validate their relevance in tandem with business and economic changes. He ensures continuous measuring, reporting and improvement of the Registry’s performance. He implements mechanisms to monitor, evaluate and advance quality and timeliness of the Registry’s work, and derives corrective and preventive actions to improve quality of results delivered.

The Principal Trade Mark Examiner/Senior Trade Mark Examiner may be tasked to represent IPOS as Singapore delegate at regional or international meetings, and to present in local and/or overseas public symposiums to educate different audience on the trade mark practice in Singapore.


3. Chief Trade Mark Examiner

The Chief Trade Mark Examiner leads on policies, trends and practices in local and other jurisdictions, and coaches the Registry and relevant stakeholders on trade mark law and related processes. He/She also leads quality advocates and guides all examiners to assure all quality standards are always met, and implements strategies for continuous improvement in quality and timeliness of the department’s work.

The Chief Trade Mark Examiner constantly coaches, guides and develop capabilities of trade mark examiners, so as to identify and develop them for succession planning. He champions the analysis of competency gaps for trade mark examiners, and oversees the design and development of interventions to address competency gaps of trade mark practice areas to ensure effectiveness.

The Chief Trade Mark Examiner is consulted as a trade mark examination expert by the intellectual property (IP) community, both locally and in the region. He stays at the forefront of developments in trade mark practices in other countries, and applies this knowledge to shape trade mark practices in Singapore and internationally. He also cultivates a wide network of contacts, and develops partnerships with local and overseas IP counterparts to influence changes to the trade mark regime.


Sub-track: Patents

1. Patent Examiner/Associate Patent Examiner

The Patent Examiner/Associate Patent Examiner works at the government patent office and holds the authority in determining whether an invention has a technical and legal basis to be granted a patent in Singapore. He/She is able to analyse technical information in a patent application, and classify and search effectively in publications, technical literature and databases of patents to determine if an invention is novel.

The Patent Examiner/Associate Patent Examiner interprets patent law and make use of relevant guidelines to make decisions regarding the assessment of patent applications. He also drafts written reports with clear and succinct arguments to present his findings, and interprets applicant responses and respond accordingly.

The Patent Examiner/Associate Patent Examiner is required to have a strong foundation in science or engineering. He also possesses excellent communication skills to correspond with stakeholders both in writing and verbally.


2. Principal Patent Examiner/Senior Patent Examiner

The Principal Patent Examiner/Senior Patent Examiner drafts complex arguments in reports that are appropriate for the specific audience. He/She reviews the work of junior examiners, and provides guidance to address gaps in practice at individual level.

The Principal Patent Examiner/Senior Patent Examiner identifies areas of weakness in, and advise on changes to patent law locally and/or internationally. He leads, develops and influences changes to search and examination practices. He identifies developmental needs and champions analysis of competency gaps in the department. He engages the department to present and update on policy and practice developments in a clear and succinct manner.

The Principal Patent Examiner/Senior Patent Examiner engages various stakeholders and presents at public symposiums to provide technical expertise, advise on patent policies and practices in his area of expertise, and/or share research and new developments.


3. Chief Patent Examiner

The Chief Patent Examiner drives changes in patent examination practices, and influence changes in Singapore’s patent regime and beyond to shape the future intellectual property (IP) eco-system.

The Chief Patent Examiner drives changes in Singapore IP policies to be consistent with the wider governmental agenda on IP rights and technological development, and for alignment with Singapore’s economic interests or strategies. He/She provides high-level input in helping stakeholders formulate R&D and business policies and strategies.

The Chief Patent Examiner represents Singapore to speak, chair or playing a leading role in renowned regional or international IP events. He also builds collaborative long term relationships with local government agencies and international IP offices, to facilitate discussion on IP policies.

IP Legal Track

1. IP Paralegal/IP Executive

The Intellectual Property Paralegal/Intellectual Property Executive files intellectual property (IP) applications relating to patents, trade marks and/or registered designs, and manages copyright-related matters. He/She is able to conduct research and prepares documents for IP-related prosecution. He also documents negotiation outcomes for management’s information and complies with professional rules of conduct in his engagement with key stakeholders.

He prepares budget reports based on expenses incurred and participates in professional development activities to keep abreast of legal and regulatory developments. He plays a pivotal role in maintaining the organisation’s IP portfolio and handling legal correspondence to ensure that deadlines and timelines are adhered to compliance with legal and organisational procedures.

He has a good understanding of local IP-related legislation and regulatory requirements. He has excellent communication skills and is able to work with different levels of management and stakeholders, and takes the initiative to draft legal correspondence for standard matters. He is also able to multi-task with large volumes of work while balancing competing priorities of deadlines for various IP-related portfolios.


2. Senior IP Legal Associate/IP Legal Associate

The Senior Intellectual Property Legal Associate/Intellectual Property Legal Associate advises the organisation and/or clients on intellectual property (IP)-related issues related to registrability, infringements and litigation. He/She also assists in IP-related negotiations, contracts or agreements while ensuring compliance to regulatory requirements and upholding professional standards. He assesses IP-related infringements to recommend suitable dispute resolution methods.

The Senior IP Legal Associate/IP Legal Associate coaches the legal team and ensures adherence to ethical guidelines and regulatory requirements. He maintains a network within the IP community and is able to identify business opportunities and/or growth areas for the organisation and/or clients. He keeps abreast of how public policy issues impact the organisation, and as a Senior IP Legal Associate, is able to assess the impact of the public policy issues on the organisation and propose initiatives to manage and/or mitigate the impact.

The Senior IP Legal Associate/IP Legal Associate possesses sound knowledge of the legislation underpinning IP. He possesses excellent written and communication skills to negotiate, mediate and/or litigate IP-related issues on behalf of the organisation and/or clients. He should have an awareness of how digital trends will impact legal work, and as a Senior IP Legal Associate, has the ability to articulate and translate these trends into new initiatives for his organisation. He is required to fulfil the requirements of being a ‘qualified person’ as defined in the Legal Profession Act read together with the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules and should fulfil other admission requirements set out in Sections 12 and 13 of the Legal Profession Act read together with the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2011.


3. Partner/Director/Counsel

The Partner/Director/Counsel oversees the approval of intellectual property (IP)-related submissions and legal drafting work, while ensuring compliance to legal and regulatory requirements and adherence to ethical and professional codes of conduct. He/She also provides advice and guidance in complex and/or novel IP creation, application and commercialisation matters. He leads negotiations to resolve IP-related disputes, and leads litigation and dispute resolution efforts in the event of non-resolution.

The Partner/Director/Counsel oversees a team to ensure that organisational targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are communicated and achieved. He leads the talent management and development function for the team and mentors others in legal-related issues. He builds on and grows the organisation’s network and is able to identify new areas of growth for the organisation and/or clients to explore. He also oversees the implementation of technology-driven solutions to enhance the productivity and legal processes of the organisation.

The Partner/Director/Counsel has a sound grasp of local and international IP-related legislation and guidelines and is a subject matter expert in the area who is consulted in complex situations. As an expert in his field, he may be called upon to provide opinions and to share his expertise at public forums. He is an excellent communicator, and is able to balance the interests of the organisation and clients while ensuring compliance to legal regulations and requirements. He may be required to work long hours and travel for business.

Patents Prosecution Track

1. Patent Attorney Trainee/Patent Agent Trainee

The Patent Attorney Trainee/Patent Agent Trainee assists in the drafting and filing of patent applications under supervision. He/She works closely with inventors and researchers in the process, and also assists in monitoring timelines while ensuring compliance to regulatory requirements and ethical guidelines. He also conducts patent-related searches to facilitate the patent drafting and filing process and liaises with inventors and researchers on the written opinions and/or office actions of the patent examiners.

The Patent Attorney Trainee/Patent Agent Trainee prepares budget reports based on expenses incurred, as well as conducts research into potential business opportunities to facilitate management’s decision making. He also engages in continuous professional development activities to deepen his expertise and knowledge.

The Patent Attorney Trainee/Patent Agent Trainee has a good grasp of local patent regulatory regimes and has good communication skills to establish relationships with key stakeholders, inventors and researchers. He has good written skills to draft technical documents, and is able to understand and interpret scientific and technology-based information.


2. Senior Patent Attorney/Senior Patent Agent/Patent Attorney/Patent Agent

The Senior Patent Attorney/Senior Patent Agent/Patent Attorney/Patent Agent files patents on behalf of the organisation and/or clients. To facilitate this, he/she conducts interviews with inventors and researchers to better understand the technology in order to draft specifications, invention abstracts and drawings. He also proposes responses to patent examiners’ written opinions and/or office actions while ensuring that regulatory requirements and timelines are adhered to. He liaises closely with internal and/or external litigation counsel on patent-related litigation matters, while providing advice on patent infringements and validity.

The Senior Patent Attorney/Senior Patent Agent/Patent Attorney/Patent Agent coaches others and ensures adherence to ethical guidelines and regulatory requirements. He maintains a network within the intellectual property (IP) community and is able to identify business opportunities and/or growth areas for the organisation and/or clients to explore.

The Senior Patent Attorney/Senior Patent Agent/Patent Attorney/Patent Agent possesses sound knowledge of the science and technology underpinning the inventions. He possesses excellent communication skills when collaborating with inventors and researchers and has the ability to translate technical knowledge for patent submissions. He is required to fulfil the requirements of registration as a patent agent as defined in Rules 6 and 7, Patents (Patent Agents) Rules 2001 and application for a practising certificate as defined in Rule 9, Patents (Patent Agents) Rules 2001.


3. Partner/Director/Principal

The Partner/Director/Principal oversees the organisation’s and/or clients’ patent strategy and oversees the international and local filing of patents in accordance with regulatory requirements. He/She grows organisation’s and/or clients’ patent portfolios and provides expert advice on patent-related issues. He oversees matters related to patent infringements and patent litigation, and advises the organisation and/or clients on responses to examiners’ written opinions and/or office actions. The Partner/Director/Principal also drives the organisation’s business development function by identifying new growth areas for the organisation.

The Partner/Director/Principal oversees a team to ensure that organisational targets and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are communicated and achieved. He leads the talent management function for the team and explores new and/or emerging technology to determine its relevance to the organisation in enhancing work processes and increase productivity.

The Partner/Director/Principal has a sound grasp of local and international patent regulatory regimes and is able to provide sound advice when faced with complex scenarios. As an expert in his field, he may be called upon to provide opinions and to share his expertise at public forums.

IP Strategy Track

1. IP Director/IP Strategist

The Intellectual Property Director/Intellectual Property Strategist is responsible for developing and managing the implementation of overall intellectual property (IP) strategies and policies for the organisation. He/She oversees the management of the organisation's entire IP portfolio and advises senior management and/or clients on risks and opportunities regarding IP assets. He drives technology transfer activities and manages complex technology transfer projects with large budgets in complex circumstances.

He is able to synthesise information from different fields to extrapolate trends and conclusions that may have a strategic impact on the organisation. He also manages and evaluates the organisation’s risk exposure while taking the lead in innovation and growth management in bringing new ideas to the market. He is also on the constant lookout for new technologies to enhance productivity and generate new insights.

He has an in-depth knowledge of the architecture underpinning innovations and its potential. He has a global mindset and stays abreast of global innovation and trends to be able to interpret its impact on the organisation. He has deep knowledge of IP and emerging technology and innovation trends. He possesses strong leadership and management skills and is an excellent negotiator in complex scenarios. He mentors a team and advocates best practices and adherence to regulatory and legislative guidelines.

IP Management Track

1. Senior IP Paralegal/IP Management Associate

The Senior Intellectual Property Paralegal/Intellectual Property Management Associate is responsible for supporting the implementation of the organisation’s intellectual property (IP) plans and maintaining IP processes based on established policies. He/She oversees the organisation’s IP portfolio management activities by analysing and organising information pertaining to IP portfolios to maximise and optimise business value, while ensuring compliance to IP-related legislation and guidelines.

The Senior IP Paralegal/IP Management Associate also prepares budgetary reports for management’s update and computes expenses for billing purposes. He stays updated on the latest changes in legislative and regulatory requirements and ensures that all IP applications comply with the same. He monitors the team’s achievement of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and facilitates continuous improvement and innovation activities within the team.

The Senior IP Paralegal/IP Management Associate possesses strong oral and written communication skills, and the ability to work independently. He is meticulous and is able to multi-task with competing priorities while maintaining oversight over large volumes of work.


2. Senior IP Manager/IP Manager

The Senior Intellectual Property Manager/Intellectual Property Manager develops the organisation’s intellectual property (IP) strategies and policies to manage the organisation’s IP portfolio and intangible assets. He/She oversees the organisation’s international IP portfolio and conducts analysis on current and past filings to inform management of potential IP infringements. He also manages assigned IP portfolios and provides relevant inputs on IP-related opportunities and risks across business units. He supports business development activities by providing advice and inputs on relevant IP issues and due diligence activities.

The Senior IP Manager/IP Manager is expected to keep abreast of international legislative and regulatory requirements pertaining to IP and is expected to assess its potential impact on the organisation’s IP portfolio, processes and procedures. He also manages the talent development initiatives for the team, and motivates them to achieve the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). He manages the budget and resource allocation for the team and prepares inputs for forward planning.

The Senior IP Manager/IP Manager possesses strong interpersonal skills and business acumen, and is able to lead multiple projects simultaneously. He is detail-oriented and takes initiative and proactive steps to ensure the organisation’s compliance to IP legislation and guidelines. He works well with both internal and external key stakeholders.

IP Commercialisation Track

1. IP Commercialisation Associate/IP Commercialisation Analyst

The Intellectual Property Commercialisation Associate/Intellectual Property Commercialisation Analyst assumes the responsibility of supporting technology transfer, development and commercialisation activities. He/She conducts research and collates relevant information to support business development and marketing activities, and drives discussions with relevant stakeholders.

He also prepares budgetary reports for management and computes expenses for billing purposes. He stays updated on the latest changes in legislative and regulatory requirements and ensures that all intellectual property (IP) applications comply with the same. He has some insight into the commercial viability of technology and the business environment, as well as the value of IP and legal issues concerning commercialisation.

He possesses strong oral and written communication skills, with the ability to work independently. He is meticulous and is able to manage competing priorities while maintaining oversight over large volumes of work. He possesses in-depth knowledge of commonly used IP databases, search engines and information sources to be able to analyse and manage the knowledge retrieved.


2. Senior IP Consultant/Senior IP Commercialisation Manager/IP Consultant/IP Commercialisation Manager

The Senior Intellectual Property Consultant/Senior Intellectual Property Commercialisation Manager/Intellectual Property Consultant/Intellectual Property Commercialisation Manager facilitates the technology transfer, development and commercialisation of assigned technologies activities. He/She provides guidance regarding relevant technology transfer issues, including developing and interpreting policies and represents the organisation's interest in intellectual property (IP) and technology transfer to external organisations. He establishes new commercialisation agreements and business development relationships with key internal and external stakeholders.

He has sound knowledge and insight into IP rights, licensing, legislation, and practical and commercial implications of legal issues concerning technology transfer and business development. He plays a key role in identifying potential partners and sources of funding and shaping the business model to facilitate technology transfer.

He possesses excellent interpersonal and organisational skills, and the ability to engage with individuals from technical, legal and research backgrounds. He also possesses a strong business acumen, with proven leadership in technology transfer activities. He builds and manages relationships with key stakeholders or networks.

Valuation Track

IP valuation is an extension of business valuation and at present, business valuers carry out work around IP and intangible assets. Please refer to the Skills Framework for Accountancy for more information on job roles within the Business Valuation Track.
 
As the world shifts towards a knowledge-based economy, the growing complexity of IP and intangible assets calls for additional skills and competencies beyond existing business valuation capabilities. A specialisation for IP and intangible assets valuation may be created to support Singapore’s development towards a Global-Asia node of technology, innovation and enterprise.

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global economy, the IP industry is brighter than ever.

Master the skills and knowledge required for a career in the IP industry. With programmes and courses catered to the different job roles in IP, you will be able to gain the skills you need for the industry of the future.

So begin your journey towards a fulfilling career in IP today!

Singapore University of Social Sciences
in collaboration with IPOS and IP Academy

Master of IP and Innovation Management (MIPIM)

A 2-year programme, aimed at IP and innovation professionals looking to deepen their knowledge and skills set, as well as professionals and mid-careerists interested in transiting to the IP industry or upskilling.

*The MIPIM is an approved course for Singapore patent agent qualification. Please clickhereforthe requirements to becoming a Singapore Registered Patent Agent.

IP Academy Singapore

Specialist Certificate in Intangible Asset Management

An 8-month part-time programme, targeted at professionals who are keen to enter the intellectual property industry, or to deepen their knowledge about the business value of intangible assets.