Sunday, July 15, 2012

External support for ASEAN IPR systems

A number of bilateral initiatives on IPR capacity building are in the works in South East Asia. In late June the Chinese Commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Tian Lipu made a working visit to the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) of Thailand and signed a Cooperative Action Plan on Intellectual Property Development.

Japan is an active supporter of ASEAN IP infrastructure development. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) last week launched its third project in Vietnam, the Project for Strengthening Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Vietnam covering 3 areas: (1) capacity building for the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) and enforcement authorities of Vietnam; (2) Strengthening coordination between NOIP and the enforcement authorities, including the establishment of information gathering and sharing systems between; (3) Enhancing public awareness on Intellectual Property. Japan has run many such projects in ASEAN.

In Indonesia meanwhile the EU has launched its 12 million Euro technical assistance project on trade development which includes a component on IPR development.

A lot of money can be spent on projects like this without a great deal of value. They are hard to measure and few donors really assess how well the IP components in these projects lead to real infrastructure developments. But one sense hopes they have value if they help some develop some of the weaker IPR systems in the region.

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