This article first appeared on the IPOS website here.
1. Youth innovators [in Singapore] can now receive free help to draft patent application documents and get advice on protecting their intellectual property with the roll out of the Inventor Assistance Programme (IAP).
2. A World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) initiative, this Singapore chapter will help inventors aged 18 – 35 years old with limited financial means to navigate the patent system with the support of volunteer patent attorneys. The programme’s volunteers will provide patent drafting and/or prosecution services to beneficiaries on pro-bono* basis.
3. These services will be provided by pioneer volunteers from the Association of Singapore Patent Attorneys (ASPA):
- Low Pei Lin from Allen & Gledhill;
- James Kinnaird and Edward Ng from Marks & Clerk Singapore;
- Martin Rainier Gabriel Schweiger from Schweiger & Partners
- Eugene Yang from Amica Law; and
- Heng Li Ling from Singapore Institute of Technology
4. Applicants can register their interest by applying directly through WIPO’s IAP online platform. IPOS will make a preliminary assessment on all submissions before submitting them to the National Screening Board, comprising ASPA and IPOS Society, for final evaluation and selection. Selected beneficiaries will be matched with a volunteer patent specialist based on the technical area of invention.
5. “We’re very happy to launch the Singapore chapter of WIPO’s IAP. We hope this will make it easier for youth innovators to protect their inventions and help them recognise the importance of protecting and commercialising their IP. IP protection should be accessible to every creator and inventor, and this is part of our ongoing efforts to enable innovators at every level", said IPOS Chief Executive, Mrs. Rena Lee.
6. "The driving force behind the program is that every innovator deserves a chance to have their idea protected. Singapore's program puts an emphasis on the next generation of young innovators and entrepreneurs, poised to solve the biggest challenges of tomorrow. With the IP professionals available through its global network of volunteers, the IAP positions them to transform their ideas into commercial assets and their dreams into reality”, said WIPO’s Assistant Director General of the IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector, Mr. Marco Alemán.
7. To mark the launch, a panel of youth entrepreneurs, Anna Lam, co-founder of Crunch Cutlery, Gavriel Tan, co-founder of Altimate Nutrition and Kelvin Ho, Chief Researcher of igloocompany shared insights from their innovation journey at an event organised by IPOS today.
8. Full details on the eligibility criteria, application and selection process for the IAP can be found at www.ipos.gov.sg/wipo-iap.
*Official fees are still payable.