Singaporean follows Aussie at UN IP agency

A Singaporean official has defeated a candidate from China in a leadership contest for the UN's intellectual property body which was swept into a rift over claims of Chinese theft of technological know-how.

Daren Tang, 47, the CEO of Singapore's intellectual property office, won a crucial nomination to become the next director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation over China's Wang Binyang, a veteran at the agency.

The "co-ordination committee" handed a 55-28 victory to Tang in a final round of voting that began on Wednesday with five candidates vying to replace the agency's outgoing chief, Francis Gurry of Australia.

The fight over the post pit the United States against Wang, prompting the Chinese ambassador to criticize an "attack" against a "competent" civil servant.

She would have become the agency's first woman chief at a time when the UN is promoting gender parity in high office.

WIPO's general assembly has the final say in May but it has never rejected a committee nominee since the 192-country agency was created in 1967.

WIPO is said to be the only UN specialised agency that consistently brings in a surplus, mainly through its patent- and trademark-filing process that costs companies money to help protect their intellectual property overseas.

The United States and some of its allies have long expressed concern about China's approach to intellectual property, which has involved requiring companies that want to operate in its large, fast-growing market to share their technical savvy with local partners.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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