A report in the Asia Times based on recent WIPO research on innovation in SE Asia underlines how much countries still need to do. to drive up industrial IP creation. A 40% rise in patent applications over the last 3 years is not bringing with it the research and innovation that it implies.
Here is how the main SE Asian economies ranked in the top IP filers:
Singapore (29), Vietnam (31), Thailand (33), Malaysia (39), the Philippines (47), Indonesia (53).
When you drill into the detail you find that Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand are biased towards trademarks, not patents. Indonesia lags at 112th in the world in patents.
When mapped against world class companies, it also becomes obvious that few SE Asian companies are major IP owners. Some leading brands from the region are Indonesia's largest bank BCA, the Shangri La and Banyan Tree hotel groups from Singapore and the Thai Union seafood group.
On the technology side patents are dominated by relatively basic technologies like agricultural, chemistry and medical science and very little IT and biotech.
IP is only a proxy for innovation; but what is clear is the region is not yet producing enough.