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.
The US has long been
vocal about protection of IPRs around the world, with one element being the
USTR's Special 301 review, an analysis countries' IP regimes. The EU tended to
have a different approach, less around public measurement of others' IP systems.
That seems to be changing with the EU Strategy for the
Enforcement of IPRs in Third Countries and a recent EU survey on IP
around the world. This survey led to an assessment of the situation of IP protection and/or enforcement and where it is
the most detrimental to EU IP owners. The results were as follows.
Priority 1 -China Priority 2 -India, Indonesia,
the Philippines, Turkey Priority 3 - Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam.
bold ones are all in SE Asia. The issues in these places in summary were:
- the government makes the right noises; there have been small improvements in IP
registration speed.Poor criminal
enforcement and low deterrence, weak training, failure to prosecute cases, low
transparency, no public data on IP enforcement, no usable Customs IP system
and severe digital piracy are problems. The EU has an EU Indonesia Business
Dialogue, several trade projects involving IPR components, such as ECAP III and
plans to open an ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk.
- solid IP laws, lots of recent training and awareness activities and new IP
litigation rules are recent improvements, backed by apparent political will. Slow IP registration, lack of interagency
cooperation prevents IPR enforcement improvements, little public data,
difficult and slow enforcement procedures, very slow litigation, lack of court
expertise in IP, few criminal arrests and prosecutions are concerns. The ECAP III project is under way.
Malaysia - recent developments
are the specialized IP Court, the amendment of the Trade Descriptions Act, and now the Copyright Act. Difficulties centre around
political will, lack of clarity on Customs IP powers, an unimplemented patent
term restoration, weak data protection and low deterrent penalties. An EU FTA
is under negotiation.
Thailand - The DIP is recognized
as cooperative and nationally Thailand has made IP a priority through its National
Task Force. PCT membership and Customs improvements are recognized. Enforcement
remains a key concerns, copyright law has insufficient rules for the digital
world, patent pendency is poor, and compulsory licensing of medicines is
mentioned. The EU dialogue with Thailand, technical assistance programs such as
ECAP III are under way.
- post WTO legislative amendments are good and IPR is increasingly recognized. But
implementation of the new laws requires monitoring to ensure effectiveness.
Awareness training is also needed. Complexity of rules and weak authority cooperation
are problems, along with poor understanding of IPR issues by officials and weak
resources. An FTA is being negotiated with an IPR chapter.
Komodo observes that they captured the IPR problems well, reflecting the different
development stages and relative sophistications of the different IP/legal systems.