Singapore, Lloyd's, and Antares launch IP insurance initiative

Cover to help innovative businesses meet legal expenses related to patents and trademarks

Singapore, Lloyd's, and Antares launch IP insurance initiative

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), Lloyd’s Asia, and Antares Underwriting Asia, have launched an initiative to support innovative enterprises as they enter global markets.

Called the Intellectual Property Insurance Initiative for Innovators (IPIII), the programme will give innovative enterprises insurance coverage for legal expenses that may be incurred in intellectual property (IP) infringement proceedings worldwide, IPOS said in a statement.

The IPIII initiative was announced by Singapore Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung in his keynote address at the Singapore Bicentennial 1819 – 2019, hosted by the City of London Corporation in London. Ong is part of an official delegation that includes Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry Dr Tan Wu Meng. The celebration reaffirms the warm and multifaceted relationship between Singapore and the UK.

IPIII offers an insurance policy for enterprises and innovators with a Singapore patent, trademark or registered design, which will cover 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.

According to the IPOS, the initiative is timely, as it comes amid the increasing role of intangible assets in value creation in the global economy. 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 firms 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, the office said.

“IP has been growing at a faster pace than the world population in the past decade,” said Dr Bernard Ong, group director of policy & engagement at IPOS. “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.”

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