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.
Managing and owning IP assets in South East Asia is increasingly
a strategic issue for companies in the region.Larger corporations have multiple operating
entities and Singapore attracts public listings from regional companies.
This allows selection of an IP owning entity. This may be driven by financial
reasons such as ensuring sufficient liquidity or assets on the balance sheets in different entities.High tax cost jurisdictions like Vietnam and
Indonesia inadvertently encourage regional tax planning through royalty
flows which increaseoperating costs, so
Singapore actively markets itself as an IP hub offering
tax and other breaks to companies to manage IP (through ownership and licensing)
and even to trade IP there. Malaysia is trying to provide IP advantages such as its recently launched IP Valuation system to help put a clear monetary value on IP. Hong Kong is also a popular place to hold and manage IP,
again for favourable tax and control reasons. Both offer greater legal
certainty in disputes too, compared to many ASEAN legal systems, even promoting dispute resolution advantages to attract IP ownership.
Care must be taken not to evade tax, so proper
financial advice is needed before deciding where to own IP. This must be combined with IP advice, so you choose the right
jurisdiction for you. Hong Kong for example is not in the Madrid system but
Singapore is.There may be transaction
costs (set up fees or IP transfer fees) to using a holding company too. Andyou
may need resident company officers e.g. in Singapore.
There are many considerations to this issue, and good
multi jurisdiction and multi disciplinary advice is needed to seek the
advantage needed. But IP financial, control and security risks can be mitigated this way.