As the market for smartphones is rapidly growing in South-East Asia and many European companies wish to enter the lucrative market of apps, it is time to take a look at how the European SMEs can best protect their valuable intellectual property when entering the South-East Asian markets.
In a world of increasingly affordable smartphone technology and rapidly expanding connectivity, the digital marketplace makes room for new players on the scene: the app developers. Third party’s apps have become a core part of the smartphone package, providing users with almost limitless potential for productivity, utility, education and leisure, and apps serving as a huge part of smartphone marketing strategy and user attraction.
A wide range of foreign industries are now looking to Southeast Asia not just to take advantage of an abundance of cheap labour for exportables, but also to tap into new consumer markets formed from a growing middle-class population. While these opportunities can lead to substantial returns for European businesses, via both the production and sales side, the less developed nature of business-related legislation means the dangers of intellectual property (IP) infringement are often great.
There are very few SMEs who would not take the issue of intellectual property rights (IPR) seriously in their business strategies, nevertheless there are some issues that are commonly overlooked and can even lead to commercial disaster. Here we take a look, in no particular order, at the top 3 IPR mistakes SMEs make… Continue reading “Top 3 IPR mistakes for SMEs in South-East Asia” »
FTA – An increasingly hot topic in South-East Asia
Brief overview of the advantages of FTA
In recent decades Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have become more and more prolific in South-East Asia as nations strive to boost the volume of trade. FTAs are considered to be beneficial, as they; enhance trading opportunities, increase exports, create stronger ties between trading partners, offer new opportunities for foreign investment and wider economic integration by lowering trade barriers and harmonizing legal and regulatory systems through the application of international standards.
On-going FTA negotiations in South-East Asia
The instrument of FTAs is widely used by various governments. Currently, there is a great number of FTAs (almost 40 according to World Trade Organization (WTO)) already in the implementation phase in the South-East Asia region and many more in the negotiation phase. Vietnam, for example, is included in the implementation of at least 12 FTAs and has recently initialled 4 more FTAs, including the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). The European Union (EU) has worked towards establishing FTAs with a number of South-East Asian countries in order to boost trade in a more predictable environment for trade and investment relations. Following the conclusion of the EU-Singapore FTA in 2014, negotiations with Vietnam were completed in December 2015 – the same month in which negotiations for an FTA with the Philippines were launched. The EU also remains committed to resuming negotiations with Malaysia and Thailand when conditions are right. It has also concluded the scoping exercise with Indonesia and is working towards the opening of FTA negotiations. This article will take a closer look at the changes that the EVFTA will implement in relation to IPR and what this may mean for European SMEs. Continue reading “Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam” »
China and the majority of South-East Asian countries have recently shown considerable efforts in creating stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection systems and in bringing their existing intellectual property laws in line with, or closer to, international standards. However, counterfeiting, trade mark infringements and other IPR infringements remain one of the major issues both in China and in the South-East Asian region. When European SMEs enter these markets, there are some key points they need to look out for in order to ensure their IPR is effectively protected. Continue reading “Tips for Protecting your IP in China and South-East Asia” »
China’s intellectual property rights (IPR) system has come a long way in the past 30 years, and development continues – a revision of the trade mark law came into force in May, paving the way for more thorough protection for rights holders. Although China is now coming into line with international IPR standards, there are still many ways in which the system differs from the European one. Below the China IPR SME Helpdesk takes a look at two major types of intellectual property rights, trade marks and copyright, and considers how these differ from European standards. Continue reading “Back to the Basics Series: The realities of doing business in China – Copyrights and Trade Marks” »