What to Pay Attention to When Registering Designs in Singapore: A Case Study

shutterstock_385731427Today’s second blog post takes a closer look at what SMEs should pay attention to when registering their designs in Singapore. It gives a brief overview of design protection in Singapore, followed by a case study demonstrating the importance of consulting with local experts or lawyers before filing for design registration in Singapore. 

Registered Designs in Singapore

A registered design is a right granted to the owner of a design to stop others from making, importing or selling, without their permission, an article to which that design or a design not substantially different from it has been applied.

In order to obtain a registered design, the design must be ‘new’ (i.e. not yet published or disclosed to the public) at the time the application for registered design protection is filed. It is possible to claim the filing date of an earlier application filed in a country that is a member of the Paris Convention or World Trade Organisation (WTO) for protection of the same design, provided that the Singapore application is filed within six months of the earlier application. Therefore, SMEs should ensure that their design is not disclosed to others until an application has been filed.

SMEs should consider applying for a registered design as soon as possible, as Singapore has a ‘‘first-to-file system’’. That is, the first person to file an application in respect of the design will have priority over others. This means that if a third party files his/her application on the design before the design owner, any registered design obtained afterwards will be in danger of being revoked for lack of ‘novelty’.

Singapore became a Member of the 1999 Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs on April 17, 2005. The Hague Agreement makes it easier for foreign businesses to obtain industrial designs in Singapore. Continue reading “What to Pay Attention to When Registering Designs in Singapore: A Case Study” »

IP Considerations for the Textile Industry in Indonesia

towels-1511875_1920In today’s blog post, we are taking a closer look at the IP protection in Indonesia concerning textile industry. As the industry is attracting investments and offering many business opportunities, it is vital to remind to European SMEs about the importance of IP Protection. In this article you’ll  learn how to protect your brand, your design and patterns as well as your textile machinery. 

Being one of the 10 largest textile producing countries in the world, Indonesia has a vibrant and growing textile industry that contributes a considerable amount to the country’s GDP and offers employment to over 3 million people.[1] Furthermore, Indonesian government is committed to further developing the country’s textile industry and to increasing the nation’s value of exported textiles to 64 billion EUR in 2030[2]. The anticipated conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Indonesia would further offer European SMEs some promising business opportunities in Indonesia’s textile sector.

At the same time Indonesia’s textile industry still uses relatively old weaving and knitting machinery and is in need of new technologies if it wishes to stay ahead of its competitors in the region like Vietnam and Cambodia. This offers further business opportunities for European SMEs whose top-notch technology is highly appreciated in the region.

European SMEs, however, need to pay attention to protecting their intellectual property rights because despite improvements made in Indonesia’s IP laws and regulations, IP infringements are still commonplace in the country. IP rights are a key factor for business success and neglecting to register these rights could be very costly for SMEs. Thus, a robust and comprehensive IP strategy is needed when entering Indonesia’s market. Continue reading “IP Considerations for the Textile Industry in Indonesia” »

IP Protection in Malaysia for the Medical Device and Healthcare Industries

insurance-1991276_1920In today’s blog post we are taking a closer look at IP protection in the medical device and healthcare industries in Malaysia. You will learn more about the importance of patents in medical device industry and the various patents that can be applied in Malaysia as well as about the importance of brand protection. 

As one of the main pillars of Malaysia’s economy, supported by numerous governmental initiatives, medical device and healthcare industry is growing fast in Malaysia, making the country one of the top destinations for medical tourism. Healthcare industry in Malaysia is expected to grow close to 30% per year up to 2020[1] and as Malaysian government is creating various incentives for foreign investments, this sector is expected to offer many promising business opportunities for European SMEs.

Malaysia has a large ageing population with rising disposable income and European SMEs can find business opportunities in many sectors including elderly care. As digitalization is still one of the challenges in Malaysia’s medical device and healthcare sector and since the government is encouraging the implementation of the E-Health Strategy, European high-tech solutions are much welcome in Malaysia. Furthermore, as Malaysia’s population is becoming increasingly affluent, consumers pay a lot of attention to wellness and disease preventions, meaning that there is growing market for medical devices that are used to self-monitor one’s health condition like blood glucose and pressure monitors[2].

European SMEs wishing to do business in Malaysia’s healthcare and medical device sector should pay attention to protecting their intellectual property rights, because even though Malaysia’s IP regulations have improved over the past years, counterfeiting and other IP violations are still commonplace in the country. At the same time, neglecting to protect IP rights can often quickly end European SMEs’ business endeavors in South-East Asia. Continue reading “IP Protection in Malaysia for the Medical Device and Healthcare Industries” »

IP Considerations for the Manufacturing Industry in South-East Asia

cool20080814_015In today’s blog post we are looking into how to protect IP in the manufacturing industry in South-East Asia, which is currently offering many opportunities for the European SMEs. You’ll learn more about patent protection and industrial design protection, but also about brand protection, as your brand is equally important to your patent. 

Manufacturing is one of the key drivers of growth in South-East Asia, with more and more South-East Asian countries winning manufacturers over from China due to lower labour costs, rising domestic consumption and improving infrastructure. Well-known brands such as Coca-Cola and Coach have so far established plants in Myanmar and Vietnam, leveraging on the cheap labour market and growing domestic demand in these countries. In Cambodia, the textiles and footwear manufacturing industry alone generates approximately EUR 5 billion annually for the economy.

In the coming years, it is expected that the manufacturing industry in South-East Asia will continue to stay strong and even expand further. The expansion of the working-age population in South-East Asia will help to boost the manufacturing sector of these countries and keep the labour costs low. The transfer of technology into South-East Asia over time will also serve to increase the efficiency of countries in this region. As such, South-East Asia offers vast opportunities for EU SMEs that are looking to expand their presence in the region. In so doing, however, EU SMEs should be aware of the intellectual property risks that they will face when operating in this region, with respect to the advanced technology that may be transferred to this region as part of the collaboration and joint venture with SME’s local partners.
Continue reading “IP Considerations for the Manufacturing Industry in South-East Asia” »

IP Considerations in the Medical Device & Healthcare Industry in South-East Asia

the-device-1822457_1920In today’s blog post we are discussing how to best protect your IP in the medical device and healthcare sector in South-East Asia. You will learn more about patent protection, design protection and trade mark protection in this industry. Since medical device and healthcare industry is very R&D intensive, we are also discussing how to protect your IP while conducting R&D activities in South-East Asia.  

Rapid demographic changes and health reforms within South-East Asia are expected to create enormous demands in the health care market in the near future. Growth in average annual healthcare expenditure between 2014-18 is expected to be around 11% of GDP in ASEAN – but with highly varied rates among the countries: Vietnam with the highest at 6.6% and Myanmar with the lowest at 1.8%.[1] At the same time, amongst many South-East Asia countries, local pharmaceuticals are not well trusted, making way for foreign players with strong brands to establish significant market share in South-East Asia. This offers many promising business opportunities for the European SMEs engaged in medical device and healthcare industries, as European brands with high and positive brand recognition are expected to be favored by local governments and clinicians over their lesser-known competitors.

The healthcare industry in South-East Asia also serves a rapidly growing medical tourism industry which is expanding globally at a rate of about 25% and it is claimed that nearly a third of all medical tourists in the world receive medical attention in South-East Asia[2]. Furthermore, many South-East Asian countries like Thailand and Singapore aspire to become the medical and healthcare hubs in the region, offering various opportunities for the European SMEs.

Even though, IP laws and regulations have improved a lot in South-East Asia over the past five years, counterfeiting and other IP violations are still commonplace in the region. EU SMEs would therefore benefit from understanding the different intellectual property rights that are relevant to the medical device & healthcare industry and determine the effective way to protect their IP rights in South-East Asia. Continue reading “IP Considerations in the Medical Device & Healthcare Industry in South-East Asia” »