Speech by Mr. Louis Ng Kok Kwang, MP for Nee Soon GRC, at the Second Reading of the Intellectual Property (Amendment) Bill (Bill No. 39/2021)
This Bill amends how intellectual property rights are registered in Singapore. This strengthens our position as a global IP hub and brings us closer to our Singapore IP Strategy 2030.
I have three quick fire points of clarification.
Submission of a Breeder’s Test
First, can Minister clarify when a Breeder’s test should be submitted when registering a new Plant Variety?
The new section 18A of the Plant Varieties Protection Act phrases this as a voluntary option for applicants. This could create uncertainty whether or not to expend resources on the test.
This is especially relevant as Breeder’s tests may sometimes take several planting seasons. Clarity will save applicants time and resources.
Disclaimers for registered designs
Second, will the Ministry clarify the principles for interpreting a disclaimer under the Registered Designs Act?
The new section 30A only states that rights are “restricted accordingly”.
This does not appear to consider that disclaimers may also expand the rights of a registered design. For example, can a disclaimer as to colour expand the protection to all designs of that type regardless of colour?
IP Strategy and sustainability
Lastly, our IP Strategy 2030 can play an important role in protecting the environment and fighting climate change. Innovation and technology have the potential to help us lead more sustainable lives and adapt to a changing world. I would like to ask the Minister to consider updating our IP strategy to include a focus on promoting sustainability innovation in Singapore.
Sir, notwithstanding my clarifications, I stand in support of the Bill.
Watch the speech here.