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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

U.S. Chamber International IP Index - the SE Asian economies



The US produces a number of reports on IP each year. The U.S. Chamber International IP Index here focuses on how IP facilitates innovative and creative economies. 45 countries' policies are studied to see which have the strongest IP ecosystem, from the perspective of creating economic growth. Areas studied included patenting, trade secrets and market access, counterfeiting and piracy, IP law development and IP cooperation.  IP Komodo hunted out the major SE Asian economies to see what was said.

The Philippines, scored highly in the SEA region at 34/45 countries. Not only does it have the basic systems in place there is a culture of improvement in IP enforcement and interagency and international cooperation. Non deterrent IP penalties, mixed enforcement results, gaps in life sciences and content-related IP protection, rampant digital piracy and some trademark system weaknesses still exist however.

Indonesia ranks at 39/45 countries and is one of the few economies falling from previous years reports. Trademark protection is regarded as a strength (although subject to difficulties protecting well known marks); however the patent system weaknesses, copyright piracy and weak international IP cooperation are cited as problems which contributed to the low score.

Vietnam, at 37/45 and trending upwards, has a basic IP framework in place but problems with the usability of its enforcement system, weak copyright protection and gaps in life sciences IP protection.

Thailand ranks at 40/45th, but trending upwards. While many elements are in place to protect IP, patent backlogs and gaps in the law, life sciences IP protection, an incomplete digital IP framework, and high counterfeiting and piracy rates, with low deterrent sentences are seen as the main problem areas.

These reports can often be hard to read accurately, but there is a lot of detail in the report, so at least some level of quality research is behind it. The precise rankings are perhaps arguable, but the general problems facing IP holders in SE Asia are probably fairly accurate.

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