From the islands of Indonesia, the IP Komodo prowls South East Asia and beyond looking for succulent morsels of intellectual property news with the aim of to raising awareness of South East Asia's IP issues to help people understand this diverse region's IP complexities.
Bilateral (ish) agreements - Philippines and Singapore
The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) have signed a bilateral agreement to promote IP. They will share information and best practices in IP Office administration, capacity building, patent and trademark examination, and enforcement. This will take the form of training, workshops benchmarking and information sharing. as well as outreach and education for businesses.
Meanwhile Singapore is the only ASEAN nation to sign the ACTA agreement last week in Japan. This (most definitely not bilateral despite what is said) agreement is an enforcement focused voluntary agreement aimed at providing TRIPS plus level protection, initially in developed markets. It is somewhat controversial, partly because of its aim to involve large emerging economies, when some of those, such as China and India do not share the view that a more robust enforcement system is in their interests. The internet provisions raised many concerns about backdoor secondary liability, statutory damages and criminal liability in particular and are principally alleged to protect content industry business models over freedom of information and privacy rights.