Heading South: Exploring IP Protection Strategies with Experts from Southeast and South Asian Countries


Bilingual Version

The booming economy and rapid market growth in the southeast and south Asian countries have become the focus of public attention in Taiwan since the government announced the “New Southbound Policy”, one of Taiwan’s most ambitious international outreach programs ever. The related topics are particularly attractive to businesses exploring new markets or looking for new manufacturing bases.

To help interested businesses getting ready for the southbound markets and able to align market plans with overall consideration of their IP protection strategies, TIPO (The Intellectual Property Office) and TWPAA (Taiwan Patent Attorneys Association) organized a seminar on “IP Landscape in New Southbound Countries” and invited the intellectual property office officials and patent attorneys, from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India, to give incisive introductions to the current patent system each country, including application requirements, patent examination practices, the time limit for OA response, patent term, IP enforcement systems, etc.

Wrap-up Session: (from left) the moderator Patent Attorney Ms. Shu-Ching Wang (Taiwan), Dr. Dr Chris Hemingway (Malaysia), Mr. Jose Eduardo T. Genilo (Philipine), Dr. Bondage Krairit (Thailand), Mrs. Nguyen Nguyet Dzung (Vietnam), Mr. Sidharth Bansal (India) and Ms. Juliane Sari Manurung (Indonesia)

The one-and-a-half-day seminar began on August 27 at Tsai Lecture Hall, College of Law, National Taiwan University in Taipei. TIPO’s Director General Hong Shu-min Hong Shu-min, in her welcome remarks, indicated that TIPO has been eagerly promoting bilateral exchanges with our neighbors in the region on IP matters since the launch of the New Southbound Policy.

Better Use of Local IP Regimes Creates win-win benefits

TIPO’s Director General Hong Shu-min Hong Shu-min

For example, the office has set up a specialized section on its official website to introducing IP regimes, IP application processes, law enforcement agencies, and legal relief mechanisms in Southeast Asian and South Asian countries to Taiwanese businesses. TIPO also held seminars the IP Landscape in Southeast Asian Countries in 2017 and 2018 to further mutual understanding between Taiwan and the region. Both events were very well received. For this third year, TIPO worked with TWPAA in expanding the focus to a wider scope and invited patent to share their insights on IP matters of concern when investing in the new southbound countries.

“With this support, we believe that our businesses will be able to make better use of local IP regimes, come up with better IP portfolio plans, and increase their competitive edge when investing in the region. I am certain that this will create a win-win situation that allows for economic development and greater revenues for Taiwan and our New Southbound partners.” said Ms. Hong.

TWPAA Chairman Tony Lin also gave his welcome remarks. He started by saying “hello” in English, Malaysian (Indonesian), Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi, and Chinese as well as how friendly people, indigenous cultures and marvelous landscapes in Southeast and South Asian countries have left him with great impressions. In his opinion, with all things considered in the current global context, heading southbound has become one of the ultimate options for Taiwanese businesses exploring growth opportunities. The “New Southbound Policy” initiated in 2016 fully reflects the importance of the region to Taiwan’s economy. 

Mr. Lin said, “As patent attorneys, our mission is to provide adequate services to clients so that their investment in new markets can be safely secured with sufficient IP protections.   To pursue the best interest of our clients, we should equip ourselves with the required knowledge. Study IPR regimes, prosecutions, enforcements, practices in the southbound region as hard as we study those in China.” He encouraged colleagues to catch up and look forward to further collaborations with IP experts from the Southbound countries.

The New Southbound policy launched in August 2016 targets markets in the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), six countries in South Asia, plus Australia and New Zealand. Among which, ASEAN nations, in particular, are of crucial importance to Taiwan’s trade and economic partnerships. Its regional integration over past decades not only has enjoyed rapid economic growth but also brought fast growth in personal income and domestic demand. ASEAN as a whole is Taiwan’s second-largest trading partner, accounting for 15 percent of total trade in 2018. South Asia, with a population of nearly 1.8 billion, also has experienced a long period of robust economic growth, averaging 6% a year over the past 20 years. These countries, at vastly different stages of development, all share immense growth potential.

IPR can protect a company’s business achievements while generating more value for the company. When entering the local market of a New Southbound country, if using the country’s IPR system properly and setting appropriate IP portfolio strategies, the company shall be able to leverage its advantages more.