Singapore's New IP Insurance Initiative to Support Innovative Enterprises Enter Global Markets
Latest update announced as part of official visit by Singapore ministerial delegation to the UK
Singapore, 13 June 2019 – The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), Lloyd’s Asia and Antares Underwriting Asia today announced a new initiative to support innovative enterprises as they enter global markets. Called the Intellectual Property Insurance Initiative for Innovators (IPIII), it will give innovative enterprises insurance coverage for legal expenses that may be incurred in intellectual property (IP) infringement proceedings worldwide.
Under IPIII, enterprises and innovators with a Singapore patent, trademark or registered design can take up an insurance policy with substantial cost savings that pays the legal costs of enforcing IP rights or defending against allegations of IP infringement, which can often be expensive and detrimental to business cash flows. The policy is underwritten by Antares Underwriting Asia, on behalf of Syndicate 1274 at Lloyd’s of London.
This initiative comes at a time when value in the global economy is increasingly created in the form of intangible assets. For the first time in history, global intangible value surpassed US$50 trillion in 2018, making up more than half of the global economy. In advanced economies such as the USA, more than 80% of enterprise value of S&P 500 is already in the form of intangible assets. These trends are increasingly driven by Asian economies, with Asian IP filings growing at the compounded average growth rate of 12.7% from 2007 to 2017, twice as fast as the rest of the world.
New business risks will emerge as more enterprises use innovation and digitalisation to grow and enter global markets. With over 60 million IP in force in the world today – about 10 IP for every 1,000 people globally – securing business interests with an IP insurance policy is emerging as a business priority. A 2019 global study by Aon and Ponemon Institute found that, on average, while enterprises have adequate insurance for their property, plant, equipment (or PP&E) at 60%, their intangible assets continued to be under insured at 16% despite a higher potential business loss compared to tangible assets.
The IPIII initiative was announced earlier today by Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung in his keynote address at the Singapore Bicentennial 1819 – 2019, hosted by City of London Corporation. Minister Ong is part of an official delegation comprising Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, and Dr Tan Wu Meng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry in London to reaffirm the warm and multifaceted relationship between Singapore and the UK.
Dr Bernard Ong (王凯宏博士), Group Director, Policy & Engagement, IPOS (新加坡知识产权局政策与交流组高级司长), said: “IP has been growing at a faster pace than the world population in the past decade. Yet, insuring IP is still nascent to a market that has witnessed multi-million-dollar patent litigation and trade disputes over IP theft. The new insurance initiative is timely in a global economy increasingly powered by the new currency of intangible assets. Cutting edge initiatives such as IP insurance will anchor Singapore’s position as a financial and legal hub, and support our innovators and entrepreneurs as they expand into overseas markets with their IP.”
Yeo Li Shan (杨丽姗), Chief Executive Officer, Antares Underwriting Asia, said: “Antares has been an integral part of the development of the memorandum of understanding between Lloyd’s Asia and IPOS. We are proud to be participating in the IPIII and our cover will benefit IP filers by giving them confidence to develop and commercialise their IP without fear of the potential legal risks that can occur along the IP journey.”
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 IPIII also extends to resolution of these disputes through arbitration and mediation.
 WIPO IP Facts & Figures 2018
IP Insurance Initiative