Audrey Yap > Yusarn Audrey > Singapore, Singapore > Lawyer Profile

Yusarn Audrey
24 RAFFLES PLACE
27-01 CLIFFORD CENTRE
SINGAPORE 048621
Singapore
Audrey Yap photo

Work Department

Head of the Intellectual Property Department

Position

Managing Partner

Career

Audrey Yap is a founding partner of the law firm Yusarn Audrey and a Registered Patent Agent in Singapore.  Her career in law spans over 30 years. She currently heads the Intellectual Property Department of her firm, which is a boutique intellectual property practice offering legal and intellectual capital management as part of an integrated suite of IP solutions.

Audrey has been admitted to the Singapore Bar and the Malaysian Bar. She was also enrolled as a Solicitor of England and Wales in September 1999. Prior to setting up her firm in September 1999, Audrey practiced in Singapore in two established law firms in the Corporate and Intellectual Property Departments and was the firm representative for both firms to all international intellectual property associations. Audrey was previously a Law Lecturer at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, prior to moving to Singapore in 1993.

Audrey was appointed as a Board Member of Enterprise Singapore on 1 April 2018 by the Ministry of Trade and industry. Audrey is also a Member of the Board of Directors, IP Office of Singapore.

She is a Notary Public and an Independent Director of a Singapore listed company.

Audrey’s thesis for her LL.M, which focussed on a specific area involving life sciences and the law, completed in 1990, was based on a comparative analysis of the position in various countries including UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia and was considered an outstanding effort of an interdisciplinary study by Professor John Wade, who was then Acting Dean for Bond University Australia and her external examiner.

Audrey is an Adjunct Fellow of the Intellectual Property Academy of Singapore. She served on the IPOS Patent Agents Qualifying Examination Committee from 2002-2006 as an examiner for the Singapore Patent Agent Qualifying Examinations and tutored trainee patent agents sitting for the procedural paper.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) based in Geneva, appointed Audrey as their Regional Consultant (IP) to head up a study conducted from 2004-2006 involving a team of national experts for ASEAN to report on the feasibility of establishing IP business development hubs in ASEAN. She provided expert advice and support to the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Working Group on IP Cooperation (AWGIPC) in this role. Audrey was invited by the European Patent Office (EPO) to serve as an external expert under the EC-ASEAN IP Cooperation Programme in 2004. As part of her duties as external expert, she delivered papers on “Commercialisation and Valuation of IP” at conferences held in Manila and Bangkok jointly organized by ECAP together with the IP Office of Philippines and the Department Of IP, Thailand respectively. Audrey was selected by WIPO to serve on a high-level expert panel in 2015 on International Technology Transfer in Geneva under the WIPO Development Agenda framework.

Audrey continues to serve as IP expert and consultant for various EU Trade related Technical assistance Programmes (EU-TRTA) and WIPO supported initiatives in China, Vietnam, Philippines, Brunei and Thailand.

Audrey was the representative of Singapore to the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) Designs Committee for four years where she presents the country report on developments in law in this area.

Areas of Practice

Audrey’s area of practice includes trademark advice, filing and prosecuting trademark applications both nationally and internationally, preparing and filing patent applications, advising on the management, protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, intellectual property licensing and assignment, franchising and copyright advice.  She has worked with and maintains professional relationships with an international network of associate professionals and firms so as to ensure protection of her clients’ rights regionally. This requires familiarisation with the different protection regimes in each country and understanding the local terrain so as to better guide her clients as they go international, as Audrey’s work involves advising her clients on Intellectual Capital management and aligning a company’s IP portfolio with its commercialisation strategy.

Audrey has acted for listed and private companies, multi-national corporations, government linked companies, hospitals, research institutes, pharmaceutical and medical apparatus companies, large public cooperatives, technology companies, venture capitalists, foreign and local law firms and individuals.

Audrey was named as one of Singapore’s leading lawyers in the 2008 Who’s Who Legal and named by Euromoney as one of the top Women Business lawyers in Singapore.

Audrey was the only lawyer from South East Asia named in 2009 and 2010 as one of the 250 World’s Leading IP Strategists (IAM 250) in a London based survey conducted by IAM magazine (www.iam-magazine.com/strategy300/). She was listed again as the only lawyer from Singapore on the IAM 250 in 2011 and the IAM 300 from 2012 to 2018. In 2019, Audrey is listed in the IAM 300 magazine again for the 11th consecutive year.

Audrey contributed articles to the Annual Survey of Malaysian Law in 1988 and 1989.

She has been an invited speaker at business and legal seminars, locally and regionally. Audrey presented at the WIPO regional symposium in Hong Kong 29 & 30 October 2009, and at PCT Asia at Biopolis Singapore on filing strategies for PCT applications (21 to 22 April 2008). She was a speaker at the ASEAN IPA annual conference in Manila Philippines (13-15 March 2008) on Biotechnology and conducted a two-day WIPO workshop at MyBiotech Corporation, KL Malaysia in the same year.

Audrey was a plenary speaker for Europe Asia Patent Information Conference held in Singapore in March 2004.  She was guest lecturer on Intellectual Property for the in-house training programme at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).  She was also guest speaker presenting on the topic Technology and the Entrepreneur at a seminar jointly organised by the Institute of Engineers Singapore (IES), the Licensing Executives Society Singapore, and the NUS Engineering Faculty (Technopreneurship Programme).  Audrey was a speaker at a series of seminars jointly organised by NSTB (as it was then known) and Arcasia Land on Biotechnology Patents in 1999 and 2000. She also spoke on building a valuable IP portfolio in the life sciences at the Life Sciences: Protection and Funding conference organised in conjunction with Singapore Society for Microbiology & Biotechnology and Centre for Life Sciences & Chemical Technology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic.  She also spoke at the HDB Prefab Technology Centre 6th Anniversary Forum 2001 on “Creating Value: Harnessing Intellectual Assets for Business Growth”, conducted a full-day IP workshop for the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore, and was a plenary speaker at the Global Franchising 2002 & 2003 Conferences in Singapore. She was a guest lecturer at Beijing University in 2005 on IP management. She also presented at Fordham University, New York, USA on IP day in 2006.

Audrey was also appointed in 2011 under a trade related project funded by European Union as the Expert assisting IPO Philippines in a national project in developing the model for Innovation & Tech support offices (ITSOs) throughout the country and providing training for 28 Philippines Universities involved.

In 2012, Audrey served on IPOS Steering Committee on a National IP Competency Framework as well as on the IP Sub Committee on “Developing a vibrant market place for IP transactions and commercialisation” for the purpose of the IP Hub Master Plan for Singapore, launched in March 2013. Audrey served on Innovation and Enterprise Industry Expert Panel for the National Research Foundation (NRF) under Prime Minister’s office of Singapore 2014/2015.

She is a member of a number of professional associations including the Association of Singapore Patent Agents of which she served as Treasurer and Exco member for several years until 2009, International Trademark Association (INTA), the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (Singapore Group), ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (AIPA), the Franchising and Licensing Association Singapore (FLA) and International Association of the Protection of Industrial Property.  Audrey was also a council member of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) from 2011 till 2013 and the Chairman of Singapore Prestige Brand Awards, a jointly organised event by Singapore Press Holdings’ Lianhe Zaobao and ASME in 2012 & 2013.

Audrey served as the Chairperson of the Education and Training Committee and Exco member of the Licensing Executives Society (Singapore) for five terms, from 1999 to 2004 and held this position again in 2009. She was elected the President of the Licensing Executives Society Singapore for 2011/2013. Audrey has served as Co-Chair of the Asia Pacific Committee as well as legal counsel to LESI Board over the years. She served as Vice President of LES International for several terms and is the current President Elect of LES International.

She is the chairperson of the SMEC Innovation Sub-committee, Singapore Business Federation. 

She is a recommended Individual for the World’s Leading Trademark Professional 2018.

Audrey was identified as a Market-leading lawyer in Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2018/23rd edition for Intellectual Property.

Languages

English

Memberships

  • Member, Board of Directors, IP Office of Singapore
  • Chair, SMEC Innovation Sub-committee, Singapore Business Federation (SBF)
  • Recommended Individual, World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR)
  • Board Member, IP ValueLabs
  • Independent Director, listco Old Chang Kee Ltd
  • President, Licensing Executives Society (Singapore) (2011/2013)
  • Chairperson, Asia Pacific Committee, Licensing Executives Society International (2010 – To Date)
  • Legal Counsel, Licensing Executives Society International Board (2013/2014)
  • Treasurer and Exco Member, Association of Singapore Patent Agents  (till 2009)
  • Council Member, Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (ASME) (till 2013)
  • Singapore representative, Asian Patent Attorneys Association (Singapore Group)
  • Chairman, Singapore Prestige Brand Awards (2012/2013)
  • Adjunct Fellow, IP Academy of Singapore
  • Member, International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • Member, ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (ASEAN IPA)
  • Member, Franchising and Licensing Association Singapore (FLA)
  • Member, International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI)
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law

Education

Registered Patent Agent
Advocate & Solicitor, Supreme Court of Singapore
Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya
Solicitor of England and Wales
WIPO Regional Consultant 2004 – 2006
Commissioner for Oaths
Notary Public