ASEAN IP Roundup for February 2021

by IPO Attaché Network in Singapore

IP Developments in South East Asia (Oct 20-Jan 21)

Myanmar: New IP office expected to strengthen country’s global IP position
The new Myanmar Office of Intellectual Property (OIP) has opened and started accepting trade mark applications (1 October 2020) during a ‘soft opening’ phase. Read the article here.

Myanmar: Launch of trade mark re-registration program
From 1 October 2020 for a period of at least six months, “the soft launch period”, it will be possible to re-register existing trade mark recordals or register trade marks already in use in Myanmar. After the soft launch period, regular filing will become available. Read the article here.

Myanmar: Amendment to Trade Service Fees of Tradenet 2.0 System
On 28 October 2020, the Ministry of Commerce issued its Newsletter No. 18/2020 on the amendment of the trade service fees for online licensing through Tradenet 2.0, which came into force on 1 November 2020. In order to enable online licensing and related activities, Myanmar Tradenet 2.0 is in place to support the national single window system. The Myanmar Tradenet member application process started on 1 November 2020 and the rest of the import and export registration and related activities are being expanded. Read the article here.

Cambodia: Ratifies Berne Convention as 2021 TRIPS deadline looms
In July 2020 Cambodia brought its ever-developing IP protection regime further into line with international standards, with the ratification of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. Read the article here.

Thailand: Amendments to the Copyright Act 2020
The Amendment was approved by the Thai Cabinet on 29 September 2020 and is now submitted to the House of Representatives Coordination Committee for consideration before referral to the House of Representatives. Key amendments to the Copyright Act 2020 includes terms of protection, technological protection measures and limitation of liability for service providers. Read the article here.

Thailand: .TH domains available from 1 February 2021
Article on opening of .TH includes schedule, prior rights including trade mark registered in Thailand and order of priority includes also foreign trade marks with local representation. Read the article here.

Vietnam: New Administrative Penalties for Violations in Commercial Activities
On 26 August 2020, the government of Vietnam issued Decree No. 98/2020/ND-CP on the penalties for administrative violations in commercial activities, production and trade of counterfeit and banned goods, and consumer rights protection of consumer’s rights. Decree 98 came into effect on 15 October 2020. The administrative penalties and remedial measures are restructured and more well organised with increased monetary fines for a number of violations. Read the article here.

Vietnam: IP Office Tightening Requirements for Document Signatories
On 23 November 2020, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam issued Notification No. 13822/TB-SHTT tightening the requirements for signatories of all documents submitted to the IP Office, including powers of attorney. Read the article here.

Vietnam: Temporarily Reduces Some IP Fees by 50%
On 26 May 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam’s Ministry of Finance issued Circular No. 45/2020/TT-BTC on the reduction of fees for registration of foreign QR codes as well as certain industrial property fees. Accordingly, the industrial property fees listed in Section A of the schedule promulgated with Circular No. 263/2016/TT-BTC of the Ministry of Finance will be temporarily reduced by 50% from May 26 until the end of 2020, returning to the old levels on January 1, 2021. On 29 December 2020, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam issued Circular No. 112/2020/TT-BTC announcing that these fee reductions would be extended until 30 June 2021. Read the article here.

Vietnam: UK signs FTA with Vietnam adopting EU IP provisions
The UK has signed a Free Trade Agreement with Vietnam, which came into force on 1 January 2021. A tiny IP element is included. The UK FTA essentially adopts the EU Vietnam FTA, which came into force 6 months earlier. So the UK FTA adopts the same IP provisions set out in the in the EU Vietnam FTA IP chapter. Read the article here.

Singapore: Ranked by WIPO as Asia's most innovative nation
In the latest Global Innovation Index released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Cornell University and INSEAD, Singapore was ranked once again as Asia’s most innovative nation. This is the 7th consecutive year in which Singapore has retained its top spot as Asia-Pacific's most innovative nation, with the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong, China coming in respectively, at second and third placings. Read the article here.

Singapore: IPOS releases guidelines on registering non-physical products as designs
The Intellectual Property Office of Singapore has released the "Registered Designs Guidelines on Non-Physical Products" to provide applicants with a better understanding of registering non-physical products as designs. Read in detail here.

Singapore: RCEP signed - includes chapter relating to IP
On 15 November 2020, 15 Asia Pacific countries ("Parties") of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed a free trade agreement (RCEP Agreement). The RCEP Agreement includes a chapter on the protection of intellectual property (IP). The objectives of the IP chapter are to reduce barriers to trade and investment among Parties through the utilisation, protection and enforcement of IP rights, and to promote technological innovation and the transfer of technology. Read the article here.

Singapore: UK-SG FTA – Securing Bilateral Trade in Goods & Services Post-Brexit including Enhancement in IP Rights
Upon the UK’s exit from the European Union in January 2020, it entered into an 11-month transition period ending on 31 December 2020. In readiness for this window coming to a close, the UK has been actively seeking trade deals in order to secure its new trading position. On 10 December 2020, the UK and Singapore signed a free trade agreement (UKSFTA) which aims to continue trade relations between the UK and Singapore post-Brexit. Read the article here.

Indonesia: New amendments to IP laws
In October 2020, the Indonesian Parliament approved the passing of the Omnibus Bill, which revised in total 76 laws, covering key laws such as labour, tax, and intellectual property. This is a significant achievement considering it usually takes years for a particular law to be passed and reflects the urgent need for reforms to spur economic recovery. Changes to IP laws affect patents, simple patents and trade marks. Read the article here.

Philippines: Revised Rules of Procedure for IP Rights Cases to take effect on 16 Nov 2020
The Supreme Court recently issued amendments to the Rules of Procedure for Intellectual Property Rights Cases. The 2020 Revised Rules of Procedure for Intellectual Property Rights Cases (Revised Rules) will take effect on 16 November 2020. In light of the objectives of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines to develop domestic and creative activity, to facilitate transfer of technology, to attract foreign investments and to ensure market access for local products, the Revised Rules were promulgated to expedite the resolution of disputes involving trademarks, patents, copyrights and other intellectual property rights. Concerned individuals or entities must take note of the various requirements and changes introduced by the Revised Rules in relation to the resolution of various IP rights cases in the Philippines. Read the article here.

Malaysia: Trademarks (Waiver & Modification of Fee) Regulations 2020
In the exercise of powers conferred by paragraph 162 (2)(f) of the Trademarks Act 2019, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has issued the Trademarks (Waiver and Modification of Fee) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on 1 January 2021. Read the article here.

Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand & Vietnam: Has COVID hit 'fast forward' in the world of online IP filing?
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a marked increase in the accessibility of online IP registration across Asia. Responses to the pandemic have included closing down physical offices and limiting or suspending in-person appointments. However, measures have been taken to counteract the practical challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has brought onto the IP community, with the promotion of e-filing systems, online payments and upgrading of online databases being made available in more locations. Such measures taken by IP offices have brought real progress for online IP registration amongst jurisdictions in Asia. Read the article here.

IPO UK Highlights (Oct 20-Jan 21)

Business engagement goes virtual
As we all adapt to a ‘new normal’, our Business Engagement team share how they have continued helping businesses and individuals with their IP, through new and innovative ways. Read the post here.

Introducing the trade mark pre-apply service
As we launch our new trade mark pre-apply tool, a member of the IPO’s transformation team explains how the service was developed and how AI can help applicants register a trade mark. Read the post here.

Black History Month 2020 at The IPO
As Black History Month draws to a close, we take a look at how the IPO has marked the date with our internal and external activities. Read the post here.

Ignition Beer – how IP sparked a social enterprise
How does a social enterprise like Ignition Beer set themselves apart from other brands? We explore the ethos behind the business and how their trade mark has become a symbol for their unconventional journey. Read the post here.

Getting over the fear of copyright in photoshoots
Interior Stylist Emma Morton-Turner feared copyright in photoshoots. That was before she interviewed The IPO’s Margaret Haig, who explained how copyright applies to the industry and answered some of the top questions. Read the post here.

Oh come let us adore... Christmas patents
We’re spreading some Christmas cheer by sharing a selection of our favourite, weird and wonderful Christmas patents. Read the post here.

The value of IP crime
What does Sherlock Holmes have in common with the IPO’s counterfeit goods report? Our blog explores the connection between crime fiction and real IP crime. Read the post here.

IP rights enforcement manual for Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines
The UK's Financial Services Intellectual Property (FSIP) Prosperity Fund program published the following IP enforcement country manuals to guide businesses on IP enforcement processes in the respective countries:

About The IPO SE Asia Network

The IPO SE Asia Network in Singapore is part of IPO's wider global attaché network. We are based at the British High Commission in Singapore and cover intellectual property (IP) in Southeast Asia. We focus on providing IP support to British businesses as well as engaging ASEAN governments and international partners on IP. You may find out more about the IP attaché network here.