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Intellectual property jobs growing faster than expected

More than 300 new high-value positions have already been added since April 2013, according to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS).

SINGAPORE: Intellectual property-related career opportunities are growing at a faster-than-expected pace.

According to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), it had expected 500 jobs to be created over a five year period from April 2013. However, more than 300 new high-value positions have already been added in the first year alone.

"The common misconception about intellectual property is that it's a very sleepy kind of job -- registering this and registering that,” said Isabella Ho, legal director of Razer (Asia Pacific).

“But when you think of it as an asset, then you've got to be very strategic about it, because we say that on one hand it's a sword that you can use to go after your competitors, and it's also a shield that you can use to block competitors."

The 47-year-old started work as Singapore gaming firm Razer's legal director in October 2013 -- a new position created to watch over the company's intellectual property.

Essentially, intellectual property laws guard businesses' rights to exploit their own original creations.

The rapidly-growing catalogue of gaming devices that Razer makes means there is an even greater need to look into intellectual property issues concerning their library of products. While the company has offices worldwide, a good number of their creative wizards dream up ideas in Singapore.

"The challenge for us has always been how to find that talent, how to nurture that talent and to also be able to give them a technical career path, as opposed to say, ‘look, we want you to just to be a project manager’," said Tan Min-Liang, chief executive of Razer.

Tech firms like Razer are on the lookout for qualified professionals.

IPOS says emerging job opportunities involve patent analytics, drafting and protection.

"We see huge demands in the professionals who are aware of how to register, protect their trademark in branding, in the licensing world. And of course, subsequently in franchising world as well, there are hundreds of jobs that are being created as a result of that," said Tan Yih San, chief executive of IPOS.

The Office notes that the trend should continue, as firms in Singapore move towards higher-value activities.

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