Thai and Vietnamese Authorities Warn Local Companies About Their Lack of IPR Awareness
In Thailand and Vietnam, the Intellectual Property bodies have recently spoken on the ways IP protection had to improve over the years to come in their respective countries.
In both countries, IP is quite a recent affair, and after passing the necessary laws in order to set a legal framework matching those of the developed countries designed to ensure a good IPR protection in the future, it is time for the governing bodies to increase awareness of the local businesses.
One of the issues targeted by the Thai IP Department, voiced by Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, its director-general, is the lack of trademark and patent protection by the local businesses before taking the market. This concern applies both nationally and internationally after many cases of Thai marks being used and registered by other parties in other countries – China in particular – without the consent of the original owner.
Cases range from local businesses who will be unable to expand to foreign markets because their IP has been registered by pirates in the surrounding countries, to Thai companies who have started trading abroad but have not bothered taking all the necessary steps and are now faced with infringement cases against them, from third parties who registered IPR that should belong to them.
Thailand will join the Madrid Protocol during the course of the year, which will certainly help the Thai businesses when registering their trademarks at the international level.
As for Vietnam, the National Office of Intellectual Property has voiced their concern regarding the implementation of IP throughout the country. In fact, better enforcement of IP now depends on the businesses themselves, and how much effort they are willing to put in in order to help authorities with tracking down infringements. Le Ngoc Lam, deputy director of the Intellectual Property Rights department, under the Ministry of Science and Technology, mentioned that the businesses usually only make simple reports to functional agencies.. Some others simply don’t want go to court, as they are afraid of bad publicity.
Better awareness is the next step in order to get well implemented IPRs across Asia, and as Vietnam and Thailand have noticed, it starts with the IPR owners themselves.
[Sources: Vietnamnews & Nationmultimedia]