IP Protection for the Tourism Industry in Malaysia

tourism in MalaysiaThe first warm days of the fast-approaching spring bring along with them the desire to travel and discover new places. Many European SMEs are also  thinking about setting up their own businesses within the tourism industry in South-East Asia and particularly in Malaysia, where the tourism industry is rapidly growing. In today’s blog post we are, therefore, taking a closer look at IP protection in  the tourism industry, focusing on brand protection – the cornerstone of IP protection in the tourism industry- and the protection of internet domain names.  

Underpinned by Malaysian government’s dedication of making tourism the cornerstone of its long-term economic planning, the tourism sector is booming in Malaysia. This year, the tourism sector is expected to bring in more than EUR 22 billion, which signifies an increase of nearly 70% on 2012 levels.[1] As the government is expected to further augment tourism-related funds in coming years, plenty of business opportunities will arise for the European SMEs in Malaysian tourism sector.

SMEs engaged in tourism need to pay special attention to protecting their intellectual property (IP) rights, because IP infringements are still relatively common in Malaysia. IP rights are a key factor for business success and neglecting to register them in Malaysia could easily end SMEs’ business endeavor in the country. Thus, a robust IPR strategy is needed, when entering the lucrative market of Malaysia.  Continue reading “IP Protection for the Tourism Industry in Malaysia” »

Trade Fairs: Tips for Better Protection of IP Rights

Trade fairs in China and South-East Asia are a good opportunity for European SMEs to introduce their product to a new market and to find potential partners, distributors and suppliers. However, there are many IP-related risks such as revealing IP assets to potential counterfeiters, when SMEs are attending trade fairs. Thus, SMEs should take specific steps such as registering their IP when going to trade fairs in order to protect their assets. In today’s blog post we have chosen to share with you an infographic explaining to European SMEs what steps they can take before, during and after trade fairs to protect their valuable IP.  

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Using Contracts to Protect your IP in South-East Asia: NDAs and Employment Contracts

MP900438585IPR protection is an essential part of SMEs’ business strategy and it often defines the success of the business. Thus, it is very important for the SMEs to be aware of all of the possibilities to protect their IP. In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at IP protection with different contracts and agreements. More specifically,  we are discussing Non-Disclosure Agreements and Employment Agreements, which can be used as preemptive measures to deter possible infringers from violating SMEs’ IP rights. 

There are many ways in which intellectual property (IP) owners should protect their valuable assets. Perhaps the most apparent ways are to register the IP in relevant jurisdictions and then enforce that IP right against infringing third parties. There is, however, a very practical and pre-emptive way of protecting IP on a commercial level. SMEs should also think about protecting their IP with different contracts like non-disclosure agreements, memorandums of understanding and employment contracts.

A large proportion of the value of business is derived from IP due to its presence in SMEs’ everyday business. IP can create value and revenue in a number of ways: it can be sold or licensed, contributed as capital in a joint venture, offered to enter into strategic alliances, integrated with a current business, or used to create a new business. The people and companies that SMEs do business with, and therefore contract with, will often use SME’s IP to varying degrees. When doing business that involves IP, there are two key points to bear in mind: always use written contracts wherever possible and ensure that, where relevant, that company’s IP is covered in those agreements.

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) and Confidentiality Agreements

Ensuring non-disclosure and confidentiality is important for any type of deal—not only for technology, IP and trade secret matters which may be the core part of the deal, but also for business strategies, new product ideas and financial and accounting information, all of which are likely to be useful in deciding whether a deal will go forward. Non-disclosure and confidentiality undertakings are enforceable in South-East Asia, provided that they are reasonable and fair and do not violate the public interest. Normal Western-style confidentiality undertakings setting out the agreed terms of what constitutes the “confidential information” and what does not, acknowledgement of proprietary interest in the confidential information and penalties for unauthorized disclosure, etc., are also common in Southeast Asia. Continue reading “Using Contracts to Protect your IP in South-East Asia: NDAs and Employment Contracts” »