Asia Business Channel

Alibaba receives AI patent approval in Singapore in world-record time


Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group Holding, has received an artificial intelligence (AI) patent in Singapore in a record three months, rather than the normal two to four-year process. Patent experts call the three-month period a world record patent acquisition time that was made possible by the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore’s (IPOS) Accelerated Initiative for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) 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.

The expedited application-to-grant process under AI2 will enable Alibaba Group and other innovators to bring their AI inventions faster to the global market through Singapore, and strengthen the Republic’s position as an intellectual property (IP) hub for cutting-edge technologies in today’s digital economy.

The Singaporean government has made it a national policy to keep the country at the forefront of technology. 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.

Complimenting Singapore’s efforts in supporting innovative enterprises to accelerate their go-to-market strategy, Mr Benjamin Bai, Vice President and Chief IP Counsel of Ant Financial (an affiliate of the Alibaba Group), said, “Companies looking to implement AI solutions globally have grown exponentially. Against this backdrop, the speed at which a patent can be granted is critical. Singapore plays a pivotal role as it facilitates our entry into markets of our interest rapidly. We applaud the efficiency and speed of the Singapore’s IP office, and look forward to filing more patent applications in Singapore under this initiative.”

Advancement in AI technology as a result of digital innovation has driven the exponential growth of AI patent filings globally. Between 2008 to 2017, over 180,000 AI inventions were published globally. With AI progressing at breakneck speed and disrupting almost every industry, IPOS’ AI2 will enable innovators to quickly commercialize their AI technologies and drive enterprise growth.

ASEAN IP offices launches new initiative to expedite Industry 4.0 patent applications and expand choices for patent applicants

In a collective effort to boost the flow of innovation into the region, Singapore and eight other ASEAN IP Offices will prioritize patent applications in key emerging technologies such as FinTech, cybersecurity and robotics. The pilot project of two years will start from August 27, 2019. Businesses and innovators will enjoy a short turnaround time of six months for the first office action under the new ASPEC Acceleration for Industry 4.0 Infrastructure and Manufacturing (ASPEC-AIM) initiative.

ASPEC-AIM will bring economic growth opportunities to ASEAN as Industry 4.0 is expected to deliver between US$1.2 trillion to US$3.7 trillion in gains globally, and US$216 billion to US$627 billion for ASEAN given its significant manufacturing composition.

The nine participating ASEAN IP Offices have also agreed to broaden the scope of ASPEC to include Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) reports under a new initiative called the PCT-ASPEC. It will run for a pilot of three years starting on August 27, 2019. Patent applicants will now have the option to use their PCT reports from an ASEAN International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) to accelerate their patent applications in another ASEAN country.




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