The study of intellectual property law, one of the fastest-growing fields of law, received a boost at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Faculty of Law (FoL) following a gift from Ms Ella Cheong, a pioneer in intellectual property law in Asia. Ms Cheong, who hails from Hong Kong, says the reason for her gift is simple.
“The money was generated as a direct result of my having been chosen by the Singapore Government to set up an Intellectual Property practice in Singapore in the ’80s. Since this is money earned in Singapore, it is only right that it benefits, to some degree, the country which has been so generous in giving me this wonderful opportunity. I chose to give to NUS because it is the university best known to me in my professional capacity, and my daughter-in-law is an NUS graduate.”
Her intellectual property firm in Singapore which was originally named Ella Cheong & Co is now known as Ella Cheong Spruson & Ferguson. The Ella Cheong Intellectual Property Scholarship and Bursary were awarded last year to an inaugural batch of four recipients.
Scholarship recipient Terence Ang (’11) says , “The Scholarship has come at an exciting time as we slowly witness a paradigm shift in attitude towards stronger intellectual property protection in the Asia- Pacific region. I am thankful to have been a recipient of the Scholarship as I believe it has encouraged me to further explore the vast regional and international opportunities this field of law has to offer.”
Seng Han Ting, Third Year Bursary recipient, adds, “I am very thankful for the Bursary that Ms Ella Cheong had kindly granted. This award not only keeps my mind off my own financial issues, on a larger scale, it also bears witness to the importance of contributing back to society.”
Professor Tan Cheng Han, Dean of FoL, says, “The gift is an indication of the strong belief that leading lawyers have in our students and a demonstration of faith in the law school’s passion for educating and nurturing the lawyers of tomorrow for Asia and beyond.”
Ms Cheong’s advice to future lawyers, “Always try to do your best which is all that anyone can ever ask for, but meanwhile enjoy your time at University and make friendships which will endure throughout your lives. Friendship and family are the two most important factors in my life.”