Trade fairs are an excellent place for European SMEs to introduce their products to South-East Asia and to find suitable business partners, buyers or distributors. With the arrival of the spring there are be many opportunities for European SMEs to participate at various trade fairs in South-East Asia and in Thailand in particular. SMEs planning to participate in trade fairs in Thailand should, however, keep in mind that trade fairs are also excellent places for malicious entities to find ideas to copy. Therefore, European SMEs should have the full knowledge of how they could protect their business against infringements of their IP rights at trade fairs. Thus in today’s blog post we have chosen to discuss how companies could protect their IP when visiting trade fairs in Thailand.
Trade fairs are now a well-established part of the business calendar in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok, with a number of high-tech industries represented, as well as areas of the creative sector such as furniture and design. Trade fairs provide foreign businesses with the opportunity to present their innovations and ideas to potential business partners and customers, and allow them to learn from and collaborate with other innovators. There is, however, a risk, in that disclosing your innovations to the public leaves you exposed to other copying and infringement of your IP.
Infringement of innovations may not necessarily be straightforward ‘counterfeiting’ – i.e. exact product, packaging and brand imitation. It is more likely that competitors could be using, intentionally or otherwise, a certain part of your product or innovation. It is therefore advisable to be as diligent as possible and to get to know competitors’ products well. Given this, a practical and realistic approach must be taken when preparing for and attending trade fairs in Thailand. IP owners must also be patient and pragmatic, as it is unlikely that immediate action can be taken against an infringer. There are, however, steps that IP owners can take before, during and after the event to best protect their IP. Continue reading “Trade Fairs in Thailand: Steps to Protect your IP” »