19 May 2018

Meeting the Challenges of Innovation in Asia

“Counterfeiting in ASEAN remains one of the significant concerns for doing business in this region,” says INTA Board of Directors member Kowit Somwaiya, Managing Partner at LawPlus Ltd. (Thailand), who assists with the Association’s advocacy efforts in the ASEAN region.

A growing threat globally is online trademark infringement, he says, but while there are some actions available against this problem, “they are not effective or efficient in many ASEAN countries.” General problems include cumbersome processes for addressing infringement and a lack of cooperation between authorities.

Trademark owners therefore need to have a long-term strategic plan that deals with infringement in the region, Mr. Somwaiya adds. This should include assessing the landscape for trademark infringement in each state, the “actual and potential” negative impacts on the business, and the basic measures to be taken if and when infringement activities are identified, including an investigation, cease and desist letter, and police complaint.

“The plan should also include annual budgets, responsible/implementation teams, and expected results, preferably quantified in key performance indicators. The plan should cover a period of three to five years,” he adds.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states—Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—are increasingly trying to encourage and facilitate IP enforcement and compile and communicate data on enforcement cases, best practices and national guidelines for criminal and civil actions, Mr. Somwaiya explains.

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