Q: What key lessons have you learned from your company’s business and IP journey?
A: We have learned how platform systems, for enabling campaigns between resource providers and bidders, can be protected by patents; and why registered designs are better suited to proprietary products for use in the future. In addition, we now appreciate how IP helps protect our trade secrets, safeguarding certain key aspects of our technologies. The patent rights that we will obtain in the future will definitely secure our competitive edge over our competitors.
Also, through the Intellectual Property Office Singapore’s (IPOS) SCOPE IP process — a free online IP management tool — we have undertaken the patent landscape analysis. This enables us to obtain a preliminary assessment of patentability of our innovations while assessing our freedom to operate these, in order to mitigate the risk of infringing the IP rights of others.
Q: Based on your own IP journey, are there any key tips you can give other SMEs in this area?
A: Many SMEs fail to understand the importance of IP in the early stages of the company’s establishment, choosing instead to prioritise profit, when, in fact, it should be the other way around.
IP is where the real value lies and how the competitive edge can be gained for most companies. By starting early, companies can ensure that their brand and designs are protected with relevant trademarks. Furthermore, for companies in the technology industry, new technological inventions should be placed in the correct category of patents so that they are secure in the international market. This is something that usually only a patent specialist can advise upon.
Q: What are you looking forward to achieving with REVEZ over the next few years?
A: We recognise the importance and value of IP and are looking forward to embarking on the following activities:
- Continuing patent landscape analysis (including patentability assessment
- Undertaking infringement analysis
- Building our IP portfolio
Besides understanding the need to have our functional innovations protected by patents, our brand name is also important. We would like to have our trademarks protected, not only in Singapore, but also in countries where we intend to expand organically and via licensing.
Our IP project has helped us to understand the importance of having an IP system and framework as well as the necessary documentation in place — something that we are currently still working on. These will help protect us from IP infringements arising out of actions that are not ours and is vital as we enter into agreements with future licensees.