South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

Estudios de caso

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South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk Case Studies 2018-2020

Case Study 48 - Bad faith of franchisee imitating franchisor's trade mark in Thailand


A foreign company (“Foreign Company”) had registered its trade mark in its head-quarter country but had not done so in Thailand. It entered into a franchise agreement with a Thai company (“Thai Company”), permitting the Thai Company to “use” its trade mark in Thailand. During the contract term, the Thai Company sneakily filed and registered copycat marks in Thailand, imitating the Foreign Company’s trade mark. As soon as the registration was approved, the Thai Company terminated the franchise agreement to pursue its own business exploiting the newly registered trade marks.

South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk Case Studies 2015-2018

Case Study 23 - Revoking a conflicting “earlier trade mark” in Singapore


A Spanish company, Company A, successfully registered its “AAA” trade mark in Singapore, starting from 2 April 1986 (“1986 Mark”). The “AAA” mark was registered in Class 3 of the International Classification of Goods under  the category of  “perfumery with essential oils”. 

On the 20 November 2001,  a US company, Company B, filed an application to register the same “AAA” mark in Class 3 under “bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning; polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery; essential oils; cosmetics; hair lotions; dentifrices; colognes; toiletries; sunscreens; cosmetics; skincare products; deodorants and antiperspirants for personal use; shaving preparations” (“Company B’s Application”) 

Case Study 24 - Action against packaging design copies in Myanmar


A Dutch company, Company A, specialising in the production and distribution of professional sealants for commercial and home use, had registered ownership of its trade mark and packaging design for its growing sales of sealants in Myanmar. After several years of sales in Myanmar, they were alerted by their local distributor to the existence of competing products bearing similar packaging design, but with a different logo, on sale in Yangon and Mandalay by resellers of hardware products. 

Case Study 22 – Defeating non-use claim with modified trade mark in Vietnam


A registered trade mark in Vietnam which was a product label for instant noodles was subject to a request for cancellation for non-use.
Under Article 95 of the Vietnam’s Intellectual Property Law, a trade mark registration may be cancelled at the request of a third party if the mark has not been used by its owner or its licensee without justifiable reasons for five (5) consecutive years prior to the request for cancellation for non-use, except where use of the mark has commenced at least three (3) months before the request for cancellation for non-use.

In fact, the exact packaging design had not been used by the trade mark owner, but it was a slightly modified version of the said mark that had been used.

Case Study 25 - ME Case Study (included in the 2016 update of the Guide ‘Top 20 Considerations when entering a new market’)


An European manufacturer engaged in the green technology industry with a innovative technology is interested in finding an exclusive distributor located in Singapore to expand its business in South-East Asia. The company participated into a programme funded by the European Union helping European companies to establish long-lasting business collaborations in South-East Asia. During the coaching session, it emerged that the company owns a trade mark and few patents in Europe but was not aware of the territorial nature of IP and which actions shall be taken in relation to trade mark and patent registrations in South-East Asia as well as to the negotiations with the local distributor in Singapore. 

Case Study 26 - (included in the 2016 update of the Guide ‘South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk Guide: Protecting your IP at Trade Fairs in South-East Asia’)


A Slovenian company in the automotive industry exhibiting at the Automotive Trade Fair in Vietnam is aware that a Chinese company which has been reported infringing its design in the past is also exhibiting at the same fair. The Slovenian company has checked the list of exhibitors before starting the exhibition and therefore had the time to be prepared should any infringement occur during the fair, including preparing the original certificate of its design registration in Vietnam and identifying a lawyer who could provide advice directly at the exhibition in case of need. 

Case Study 27 - Relevant clauses for license agreements


A European company in the green technology field with an advanced technology for waste management currently manufactures its products in Europe and is willing to enter into a license agreement with a Malaysian company to grant licenses for manufacturing, distribution and selling of its products with non-transferrable exclusive and sole right for a period of five years. The parties enter into negotiations of the main terms of the deal to be inserted in the written agreement.

Case Study 28 - Trade Secrets protection in Thailand


Important amounts of investment are made in research and development to improve designs, techniques, and processes by SMEs to reduce production costs and increase sales. Trade secrets disputes often arise against employees or former employees and business partners and is a frequent issue affecting SMEs. However, in relation to Thailand, the Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (IP&IT Court), has published that only 66 trade secret cases were brought to the IP&IT Court between 2004 and 2014. Of this limited number of cases, the majority had unfortunately no positive outcome for trade secrets’ owners, with the main reason for the court to dismiss a plaintiff’s claim, being the absence of appropriate measures to maintain trade secrets. Key grounds to support a claim of trade secrets theft is indeed represented by the proofs of the existence of a trade secret by demonstrating that the information is protected by measures to maintain its secrecy. Failing to provide certain evidence in this respect, will lead to lose the case. 

Case Study 29 - Contribution of know-how in Vietnam


A European company is willing to establish a Joint Venture with a local partner in Vietnam where the investment in the capital will be composed of cash from the Vietnamese partner and know-how and cash from the European company. The European company has developed a specific know-how in treating and cleaning systems which enable to minimise the use of water and detergents. 

The parties enter into negotiations in relation to the Joint Venture Agreement and have reached a point in which it became difficult to assess the exact value of the contribution of know-how since the process was and could not be patented in Europe nor in Vietnam. The parties could not find an agreement on the contribution and the European company was worried of disclosing further information at this stage.

Case study 30 - Non-use cancellation actions in Thailand


Company A wanted to apply for registration of a trade mark for “snack food” in Class 30 in Thailand, but found that a similar trade mark had already been registered for the goods “potato chips, crispy rice chips, corn flakes, and crackers” in the same class by a Thai company (Company B). The goods covered by Company B are classified as ready-to-eat products under Group 3, i.e., food with labeling that is subject to regulatory approval. 

Case Study 32 - Trade mark registration in Thailand and South-East Asia in Automotive Industry


Textra Automotive (“Textra”) is a medium-sized European company known for producing high-tech sensors for cars. After an extensive market study, Textra has decided to enter the ASEAN market. It identifies Siam Manufacturing Group (“Siam”) as a promising partner in Thailand and enters into an agreement with the latter to manufacture and distribute sensors to vehicle manufacturers in Thailand. If the products prove profitable in Thailand, Textra will expand its business to the other major automotive manufacturing countries in the region.

Following three successive profitable quarters, Textra decides to pursue sales of the products in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines. It applies to register its name as a trade mark in Thailand, with a plan to register the same mark in the other four countries, claiming priority from the Thailand application. However, Textra discovers that the trade mark has already been registered by Mais Manufacturing Ltd. (“Mais”).

ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk Case Studies 2013-2015

Estudio de caso de marca comercial 21


Un fabricante europeo de componentes electrónicos con una marca de ordenadores personales (BHT) conocida en el mercado internacional deseaba implantarse en el Sudeste Asiático. Al realizar un estudio de mercado en un país de la ASEAN, no tardó en descubrir que su marca ya había sido registrada en dicho país por una entidad local 5 años antes. El registro local contemplaba equipos estereofónicos y radios electrónicas. Un abogado local informó a la empresa europea de que el hecho de que una entidad local hubiese registrado la marca comercial impedía cualquier solicitud de registro por su parte.

Estudio de caso de marca comercial 19


Una pequeña empresa británica elabora una línea de ropa muy apreciada con la marca comercial SHO.

Esta empresa comercializa su marca en la ASEAN a través de un distribuidor. El distribuidor informa a su socio británico de que ha detectado ropa falsificada con la marca SHO a la venta con un precio menor en el mercado de su país. La empresa británica contrata a unos investigadores para comprobar este extremo.

Tras llevar a cabo un estudio de mercado, los investigadores descubren que efectivamente varias tiendas venden ropa falsificada con la marca SHO.

Estudio de caso de patente de diseño / derechos de autor 18


Una pequeña filial de un fabricante de joyas francés que opera en Indonesia distribuye con mucho éxito una línea de anillos, pulseras y pendientes diseñados en Francia. Cada 6 meses salen al mercado nuevas colecciones. Dado que se necesita un cierto tiempo para registrar un diseño industrial en Indonesia (entre 25 y 36 meses) y en vista de la cuantía de las tasas, la empresa decidió no registrar el diseño de sus colecciones en Indonesia

Al mismo tiempo, la empresa descubrió que en Indonesia se comercializaban imitaciones más baratas de sus joyas con otra marca.

La empresa francesa no adoptó medidas para interrumpir las actividades de la empresa indonesia falsificadora, en vista de que la protección que brinda el diseño comunitario en Europa es de carácter territorial y no tiene validez en Indonesia.


A pesar de los perjuicios económicos sufridos, el alcance de la infracción y los daños provocados a su reputación, la empresa francesa no ha emprendido aún acciones legales en Indonesia ni ha solicitado una indemnización debido a la creencia errónea de que no existe un marco legal en tal país que permita dichas acciones.

Estudio de caso 17 - Protección de IP en línea


Una empresa sueca de juegos por Internet, líder del mercado de desarrollo y promoción de juegos para redes sociales dirigidos a adolescentes, tiene millones de clientes adolescentes que usan sus productos a través de Internet desde todo el mundo, incluido el Sudeste Asiático.

En 2010, la empresa registró los nombres de sus juegos más populares con los dominios .cn (China), .kr (Corea) y .jp (Japón), ya que consideraba que estos eran los principales mercados para sus juegos en Asia. No hizo lo mismo con los nombres de dominio de Vietnam (.vn y, Singapur (.sg y y Laos (.la).

Estudio de caso 16 - Conflictos de patente en el Sudeste Asiático

Una empresa farmacéutica británica es el principal fabricante de un fármaco contra el cáncer que se ha exportado a todos los países destacados del primer mundo durante los últimos 20 años. Más recientemente ha empezado a comercializarla en los países en vías de desarrollo, especialmente de la región del Sudeste Asiático.

El principio activo del medicamento está protegido por patente, pero esta caducó hace 3 años. No obstante, hace 10 años se patentó un nuevo proceso mejorado de producción, y dicha patente sigue estando vigente en varios países, entre ellos Singapur, Malasia e Indonesia.

Estudio de caso 15 - Violación de marca comercial / caso de suplantación en Malasia

Un fabricante británico de galletas vende sus productos en Malasia desde hace más de 20 años, donde están registrados con la marca comercial "ChipsMore" desde el principio.

Hace dos años una empresa malaya comenzó a fabricar y vender galletas con la marca "ChipsPlus".

Se recomendó a la empresa británica que demandase a la empresa malaya por infringir sus derechos de marca comercial y por "suplantación", un procedimiento que puede emplearse para defender derechos de marca no registrados y que existe en Malasia por ser un país que se rige por el derecho anglosajón.

Estudio de caso 14 - Prácticas de marca comercial en Tailandia

Una empresa española de ropa se implantó con éxito en Indonesia, donde abrió una cadena de tiendas de ropa de su marca, y tenía intención de hacer lo mismo en el sur de Tailandia. El propietario de la empresa era consciente del valor de una marca comercial, y ya había registrado la suya en Indonesia, bajo la clase internacional 25, que contempla "prendas de vestir", "artículos de sombrerería" y "calzado".

Por su experiencia en Indonesia, sabía que el proceso de registro de una marca comercial podía alargarse hasta dos años. Por consiguiente, tan pronto como se planteó abrir una filial en Tailandia, inició el registro de la marca comercial en dicho país. Los bienes objeto de la solicitud eran los mismos que protegía la marca comercial registrada en Indonesia (es decir, "prendas de vestir", "artículos de sombrerería" y "calzado"). No obstante, se le denegó el registro de la marca en Tailandia porque la descripción de los artículos era demasiado amplia según las prácticas de registro de marcas comerciales del país.

Estudio de caso 13 - usurpación de marca en Indonesia

Una conocida marca de moda italiana opera en el sector de la venta minorista de ropa. La empresa italiana está presente en muchos mercados del Sudeste Asiático, donde cuenta con numerosas tiendas. Esta empresa ha registrado varias marcas comerciales para protegerlas, entre ellas la marca "AAA", que está registrada en muchos países de todo el mundo, en el caso de Indonesia, en las clases de bienes y servicios 18, 25 y 35.

En Indonesia el registro en la clase 25 se realizó en 2008. Como la marca estaba debidamente registrada, la empresa italiana estaba segura de que no se permitiría el registro de otras marcas idénticas o tan parecidas como para generar confusión en las mismas categorías de bienes y/o servicios.


Case Study 12 – Unjust Appropriation of Famous Trade Mark by Local Firm in the Philippines


A famous French culinary school tried to register its 1895 trade mark LE CORDON BLEU in the Philippines but it was opposed by a local entity which was owned by one of the graduates of the same school. The graduate started using the same mark in the Philippines long before the French school tried to register but never applied for trade mark registration. The local entity argued that it was the first to use the mark in the Philippines, thus it should be entitled to register the mark ahead of the French school. Subsequent to filing the opposition, the local entity filed its own trade mark application covering the same mark.