South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

Cross-cutting issues

Transfer of Technology to South-East Asia - Updated in 2019

Many European companies who come to Southeast Asia are often willing to ‘transfer’ some of their technologies and designs to local subsidiaries of European firms, joint-venture partners, or local manufacturing and service companies. One of the challenges facing European companies coming to Southeast Asia to do so is devising creative solutions to minimize the risk to their intellectual property associated with technology transfers.

This publication provides a step by step guide to European firms looking to move to Southeast Asia, how to assess the ASEAN IPR landscape and a checklist of how to effectively create an IP strategy.

Joint International Helpdesks Trade Fair Guide – Protecting your IP at Trade Fairs

This guide provides an overview of Intellectual Property (IP) protection strategy for EU SMEs specifically on how to be ready before, during and after a trade fair or exhibition in China, South-East Asia and Latin-America. With the advent of increasingly integrated global-value chains and the continuous drive to innovate, trade fairs have become one of the most important and most efficient instruments for accessing new markets worldwide. Although attending a trade fair or exhibition can reap substantial benefits, SMEs should be aware of the possible IP risks that are implied. This guide will provide you with a concrete understanding of all you need to know on this topic.

Guide for Research & Development (R&D) Activities in South-East Asia

In recent years, the R&D industry in South-East Asia has been flourishing, with countries in the region investing heavily to promote R&D activities. This presents opportunities for EU SMES wishing to invest in the R&D sector of the South-East Asian market. Given the intellectual property rights (“IPRs”) that arise from the R&D activities, as well as the potential commercial value attached thereto, it is of utmost importance that care is taken to ensure that such IPRs are well protected, and that their commercial value is maximised. Find out more about protecting your IPR in the R&D sector in South-East Asia! 

South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk: Software Protection in South-East Asia

The Information Technology services and software sector in South-East Asia has been booming in recent years as South-East Asian nations continue to develop and flourish.  In particular, South-East Asia is experiencing a rapid growth of Internet, digital, social media and mobile activities. With more than 320 million Internet users in January 2017, increasing connectivity and therefore dependence on computer technology is to be expected in this region.

Finding the Right Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements or recommendations. An experienced and capable lawyer could not only strengthen your business's intellectual property strategy but also effectively assist you in enforcing your rights against infringers. This guide walks you through the process of hiring the right lawyer for your needs.

Guide for Partnering and Matchmaking Events in South-East Asia

Partnering with companies operating in the same sector and offering complementary, or even competing, products or services might be a winning strategy for Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs) doing business in South-East Asia. Reliance on local culture and business customs of operating business channels often proves especially advantageous to smaller-sized foreign companies with limited or no experience in a new market.

Intellectual Property and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 

The goal of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is regional economic integration in ASEAN by 2015. The AEC envisages the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of fair economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy.

As the AEC takes steps to become a more fluid and internally-accessible market through the introduction of free movement of capital and investment, goods, services and certain skilled labour, many challenges relating to the protection of valuable intellectual property (IP) across the AEC will arise. This guide will take you through the AEC’s IP action plan as well as recommended next steps SMEs can take to protect their IPR.

IP Audit Check-list

An increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are realising the importance of intellectual property (IP) as a key economic asset in their overall business activity. Strong IP and a robust IP strategy can enable a company, of any size, to survive economic downturns as well as to grow sustainably during the boom period.

All companies own intangible assets. However, sometimes they may not recognise their own IP and especially the potential value of it for various reasons. For instance, they might not be trained to do so. This simple ‘self-audit kit’ aims to make European SMEs aware of the IP they already hold and how it can be economically advantageous for them. Intangible assets can and should be protected since they contribute to increased productivity, build an image of a company, give it a competitive edge and influence the valuation of an enterprise.

IPR Enforcement in South-East Asia

Intellectual Property Rights (“IPR”) refer generally to the collection of rights that the owners of intellectual property (“IP”) are entitled to enjoy. IP exists in many forms such as a company logo, an advertising slogan, a unique process or a way of doing things, a new music score, a new drug composition, or a creative piece of furniture design, amongst others. All these various forms of IP share a common characteristic – they are creations of the mind and feature unique and distinguishing characteristics that differentiates them from other IP.

Protection of Online IPR in South-East Asia 

With increased access to broadband networks, a proliferation of WiFi sites and a burgeoning smartphone market, Internet usage in some of the ASEAN countries is now surpassing traditional media such as TV, radio and print. Although the internet is an attractive business and marketing platform for many European SMEs working with or in Southeast Asia, it is also an ideal platform for infringers to sell counterfeit products and commit fraud. The Internet provides a low cost method of reaching consumers around the world without revealing identity or origin of operation, meaning that infringers can operate anonymously.

This guide provides you with practical information on how to protect your online IP, including tips for building an effective domain name strategy and registration of domain names.

Protecting your IP at Trade Fairs in South-East Asia

Trade fairs provide intellectual property (IP) owners with the opportunity to present their innovations and ideas to potential business partners and customers in Southeast Asia and they allow them to learn from and collaborate with other innovators. There is, however, a risk, in that disclosing your innovations to the public leaves you exposed to third parties copying and infringing on your IP.

This guide will demonstrate how you can prepare yourself before, during and after a trade fair or an exhibition in Southeast Asia. It also includes advice on identifying business partners at trade fairs.

SME Starter Kit for Vietnam

The South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk in collaboration with the EU-Vietnam Business Network (EVBN) has published a joint publication entitled “SME Starter Kit”. This kit is designed to provide first-line support and guidance to European SMEs who are interested in expanding their business in Vietnam. The publication covers a wide spectrum of topics including Vietnam’s economic structure, legal framework, market entry conditions, investment, infrastructure, tax, intellectual property rights, finance, labour, business culture and dispute settlement, for the benefit of interested SMEs.

Top 20 IP Considerations when Entering a New Market

Intellectual property rights (IPR), as intangible assets, are a key factor in the competitiveness of European SMEs in the global economy. IP is a type of asset which incentivises innovation, and is particularly relevant to SMEs as they internationalise their business with third countries such as those in Southeast Asia. The loss of business, revenue, reputation and competitive advantage caused by IPR infringement affects EU SMEs both in Europe and in their core export markets while the inadequate protection of inventions and creations can jeopardise legitimate businesses.

This guide will walk you through the importance of an effective IP policy and provide you with an overview of the top 20 IP considerations in Southeast Asia, from identifying IP assets to preparing you to enforce your rights.

Using Contracts to Protect your Intellectual Property

There are many ways in which intellectual property (IP) owners should protect their valuable assets. Perhaps the most apparent ways are to register the IP in relevant jurisdictions and then enforce that IP right against infringing third parties. There is, however, a very practical and pre-emptive way of protecting your IP on a commercial level by covering it in IP agreements. A large proportion of the value of your business is derived from IP due to its presence in your everyday business.

This guide provides you with an overview of the different types of contracts when licensing your IP and take-away messages for the various ASEAN countries.