Singapore to Offer World's Fastest Patent Application-to-Grant for Artificial Intelligence Inventions

Singapore, 26 April 2019
– With immediate effect, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) will accelerate grants of AI-related patent applications to just six months, which will be the fastest in the world.

The Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) (人工智能专利优先计划) will strongly complement Singapore’s shift to a digital economy, and support innovative enterprises who need to bring their AI products faster to global markets. Now, innovators can expect their AI patents to be granted in as quickly as six months, compared to a typical period of at least two years or more. See Annex A for eligibility criteria.

Today’s world economy is driven by innovation and digitalisation. Industry 4.0 has arrived, and AI is at the forefront of this development. According to a 2017 report, AI could potentially double Singapore’s annual economic growth rates from 3.2% to 5.4% by 2035.[1]

The drive towards AI is gaining momentum within the Government with a five-year Digital Government Blueprint plan launched last year for ministries and agencies to adopt one AI project by 2023[2]. Companies in Singapore have also taken a proactive stance towards AI. 50% of businesses in telecom, insurance, finance, IT and retail have adopted AI solutions, with the remaining 30% indicating that they will do so by mid of this year.[3]

Globally, the number of companies implementing AI solutions grew 270% in the past four years and tripled in the past year, with two in five enterprises implementing AI in some form now.[4] The enormous interest in AI is most evident from patenting activities worldwide. More than 180,000 inventions relating to AI were published worldwide between 2008 to 2017, with an annual growth rate of more than over 20% over the last five years.[5] Brimming with innovative activities, the global AI industry is forecast to be worth US$190 billion by 2025, with a compounded annual growth rate of 37% from 2017 to 2025.[6]

Mr Daren Tang (邓鸿森), Chief Executive of IPOS (新加坡知识产权局局长) said: “AI has become one of the biggest drivers of technological and societal change in the world, and it will increasingly underpin Singapore’s drive to build a digital economy. The Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence will give AI innovators protection for their inventions much faster than usual and underscores Singapore’s commitment to helping AI innovations move quickly to the market. This initiative will also be extended to AI innovators outside of Singapore, and will allow them to use Singapore as a base to access markets of their interest speedily. This will reinforce Singapore as an IP hub for cutting-edge technologies.”

Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day through AI and Sports

The launch of AI2 marks Singapore’s celebration of World Intellectual Property Day (WIPD) 2019, complementing WIPD’s theme of IP and sports this year.[7]

Burgeoning innovative activities has led AI solutions to be commonly applied to a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, financial and business services, urban mobility, logistics, and healthcare. AI technologies have also spurred advancement in sports – from coaching and performance improvement of players through wearable technologies, to engaging sports fans through chat bots. The Wimbledon Messenger is an example of how big sports properties have embraced AI. Popular among Wimbledon fans who use it to stay updated with the latest information from the field, it also provides feeds on popular players, as well as promotes tickets and merchandise for sale.

Besides AI2, IPOS has also put together a calendar of programmes aimed at increasing the awareness of IP and its pervasiveness in our daily lives. (See here for details)


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[1] Source: “AI is the future of Growth 2016” research by Accenture Research and Frontier Economics

[2] Source: 5 June 2018 press release by Smart Nation Singapore

[3] Source: “AI is critical to Accelerate Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific” by Appier and Forrester

[4] Source: “CIO Study 2019” by Gartner

[5] Source: “AI: its evolving nature and future prospects report 2017” by IMDA

[6] Source: “Artificial Intelligence Market Report Global Forecast 2015” by MarketsandMarkets

[7] WIPD is celebrated annually by 191 member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization. The objective is to highlight the role that IP plays in encouraging innovation and creativity.