A new initiative to support innovation in Singapore has helped major Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding, to receive an artificial intelligence (AI) patent in the country in a record three months, besting the usual two- to four-year procurement process.
According to a report by Asia One, the key factor to Alibaba’s world record-setting patent acquisition time was the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s (Ipos) Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence program, which was created to foster AI innovation by expediting patent approvals and other processes. The program is meant to position Singapore as a hub for modern technology and tech IP.
Benjamin Bai, Vice President and chief IP counsel of Ant Financial, an affiliate of the Alibaba Group, lauded the Ipos initiative. He remarked that the program and its quick granting of Alibaba’s patent “plays a pivotal role as it facilitates our entry into markets of interest rapidly.”
The Singaporean government has made keeping the country at the forefront of technology a major thrust of its policies, with Ipos already poised to sign six memoranda of understanding and partnership agreements to strengthen its ability to support the tech industry and digital innovations. Its initial aim will be to attract businesses seeking a gateway to new markets.
The Ipos initiative comes as up to eight other IP offices in the ASEAN region announced expedited patent application processes for tech innovations, spanning robotics, cybersecurity, and fintech.
Tech innovations, collectively considered part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are expected to bring between US$216 billion to US$627 billion to ASEAN in the coming years.
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