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” »

Writing a Good Manufacturing Non-disclosure Agreement in China

MP900438585In today’s blog post we are discussing how to protect IP when seeking Chinese manufacturers and will address what it takes to design an NNN (non-use, non-disclosure, and non-circumvention agreements) which can pose enough of a credible threat to dissuade contract violations.

Defining protected information: keeping everyone on the same page

NNN agreements should clearly define which rights are being disclosed or licensed, their nature, and their scope. Clear mechanisms for identifying and marking, accounting for, and maintaining secrecy for this information (or indications of who will bear these responsibilities, what general types of information should be considered confidential, or processes for retroactively marking material as confidential) should be present. If desired, additional clauses can also outline what types of information will not be considered confidential. Naturally, before these types of information can be identified, an SME should first understand just what its trade secrets are. Conducting an IP assessment and audit can identify key IP which was otherwise taken for granted or not fully appreciated by the SME and can assign a value to the IP which will make calculating contract damages much easier.

While the contract is in force, these rules should be strictly followed. Over the course of the contract, additional IP may be generated as a result of the work of employees or independent innovations on the part of the manufacturer. NNN agreements can also include clauses which dictate that all such IP belongs to the SME and can thereby avoid future disputes. Note, however, that China places restrictions on the export of some technology—meaning that agreements automatically granting new IP to the SME could be struck down in court. Continue reading “Writing a Good Manufacturing Non-disclosure Agreement in China” »

Cambodia applied online Registration System for Trade Marks

shutterstock_152628707Good news for all the European SMEs wishing to do business in Cambodia, it is now possible to file trade mark registration applications online. Today’s blog post has been kindly shared with us by our South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk external expert Mr. Nguyen Hoa Binh from Daitin & Associates. In this blog post Mr. Nguyen Hoa Binh explains the new online application process in more detail. 

On 25 May 2017, the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia launched online trade mark filing system.

The new launched online filing system allow Applicant to file applications to register their trade marks online.

Accordingly, Applicants can upload the required documents and information through the online trade mark filing system.

The trademark applicant can also conduct preliminary trademark search from the Cambodia Department of Intellectual Property database.

Under the Prakas (Regulation) issued by the Ministry of Commerce on May 4, 2017, an applicant with permanent residence or principal place of business inside Cambodia can use this system.

The applicant has to request in writing to the DIP for a user name and password. For foreign applicants, the system can only be used through a registered Cambodian trademark agent.

Once the trademark application has been filed, when the applicant is represented by an agent, the original, notarized power of attorney, along with any priority documents, must be submitted in hard copy to the Department of Intellectual Property within two months from the filing date. Continue reading “Cambodia applied online Registration System for Trade Marks” »

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” »

Trade Fairs in China: Steps to Protect You IPR

Page 1. 1.Protecting your IP at Trade FairsIn today’s blog post we are taking a closer look on how European SMEs can protect their intellectual property when they attend trade fairs in China. You’ll learn how to prepare for a trade fair, what to do and pay attention to during the trade fair and, of course, what to do in a case that someone is violating your IPR rights.

Trade fairs are an excellent opportunity for a business to showcase their new products and scout out business partners for manufacturing, promotion, and distribution. Unfortunately, in China these exhibitions are a common prowling ground for infringers, so it is of utmost importance to ensure all intellectual property precautions are undertaken. It is not sufficient to merely gain intellectual property rights for a company’s assets – steps should be taken before, during and after a trade fair to ensure maximum protection. This article takes a look at some of the steps foreign businesses should take.

Before the trade fair: fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Determine your strategy in advance of the trade fair. Do you want to take enforcement action at the fair, or only use the fair as an opportunity to gather evidence? If you are not certain about securing all necessary evidence and paperwork to carry out an action at the fair, gathering evidence there first may be a better strategy.

Prepare the required documents – some may need to be notarised and legalised which can take up to two months. The required documents include: Continue reading “Trade Fairs in China: Steps to Protect You IPR” »