Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thailand's growing international IP portfolio

It is frequently said that until local companies in Asia take a more active interest in protection of their own IP, until locally created IP clearly drives enterprise value increases, until Asian companies expand around the world and use their IP to create overseas markets, then IP protection within Asia will remain an afterthought.

IP Komodo posted here about how SE Asian countries are not investing sufficiently in domestic IP creation. Thailand with its greater focus on science and research than many of its neighbours leads the emerging SE Asia cohort in US patent filings.

Some evidence of this comes from the Thai silk industry. Queen Sirikit who plays a vital role in promoting Thai silk, has registered various “Thai Silk” trademarks in China, Norway, Spain, UK, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the European Union. India is next.

The Department of IPR (DIP) is using this high profile brand to publicise to other Thai businesses hoping to inspire more of them to do the same.  They argue correctly that it is not only a way to exclude third party use but helps generate commercial interest and offers a guarantee of quality.

And in Monday's Bangkok Post Thailand's national energy flagship PTT is profiled as a leader in R&D. Its petro chemical division's first patent was registered in 2001, and now it has 37, in sectors which include oil and lubricants, advanced chemicals, performance boosters, catalysts, process technology and green energy. PTT has a research budget of 900 million baht this year and aims to have 260 researchers by the end of the year.

IP Komodo applauds this attitide but laments that it is not more widespread in other SE Asian companies. 

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