Between 10-15 August, the IP Key SEA team organized a series of seminars on trademarks and industrial designs for stakeholders in three ASEAN Member States. ‘The Roving Seminar for IP Officials on the Registration and Enforcement of Trademarks and Industrial Designs’ was held in Indonesia and Thailand, while the ‘Roving Seminar on EU Trademarks and Community Designs for EU and Southeast Asian Companies’ took place in Thailand and Viet Nam.
Kicking off in Hanoi on 10 August, the one-day seminar for EU and Southeast Asian companies aimed to increase awareness of business stakeholders of both EU and local trademark and industrial design registration practices. National registration procedures, non-traditional trademarks, online IP tools, as well as the interface with copyright, domain names and trade dress were covered.
In opening remarks, EU Delegation to Viet Nam Trade Specialist Le Ky Anh noted that Viet Nam had made significant progress in passing laws to protect IP rights and acknowledged that more would be done for enforcement under the EU-Viet Nam free trade agreement in late 2018. National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) Viet Nam Deputy Director General Le Ngoc Lam exhorted local businesses to take advantage of the substantial trade volume between the EU and Viet Nam. “We hope that the knowledge shared at the workshop today will assist the new enterprises and business entities to take swift and accurate steps for the registration of their [IP rights],” he said. Participants paid particular interest to the EU procedures, criteria for the evaluation of trademark applications, as well as the implication of Brexit on registered trademarks in the EU.
In Jakarta on 13 August, the seminar for IP officials focused on EUIPO procedures in relation to examination, protection and enforcement of EU Trademarks and Community Designs. During the training sessions EUIPO best practices were shared, as well as information on unregistered and non-traditional designs, bad faith registrations cases, and how to improve access to trademark and design information through the global databases, TMView and DesignView.
Addressing trademark and design examiners from the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP), EU Delegation to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam Head of Economic and Trade Section Raffaele Quarto highlighted the importance of EU-funded programmes in the region. “IP Key Southeast Asia and ARISE Plus IPR serve as a testament to the commitment of the EU to support the improvement of the IP environment in Indonesia,” he noted. DGIP Director of Copyright and Industrial Design Erni Widhyastari confirmed the significance of IP rights to development: “With the fast economic growth in Southeast Asia, there is an increase in demand of ASEAN domestic products from foreign countries. Trademarks and industrial designs are important in promoting such investments in the region.”
In a combined seminar for IP officials and business representatives in Thailand on 15 August, EU Ambassador to Thailand Pirkka Tapiola and Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) Thailand Director General Thosapone Dansuputra opened proceedings. “The events today are the results of the close and meaningful cooperation between the DIP, the ASEAN IP offices and the EUIPO,” stated Mr. Dansuputra. EUIPO Policy and Guidelines Team Leader Sophia Bonne discussed the European Union trademark (EUTM) regime as a centralized system that gives unitary protection in all 28 Member States, in parallel with national and international trademark protection in the region. Examiners and legal officers from the DIP and a number of corporate counsel participating were particularly interested in practical applications for the ASEAN TMview and ASEAN TMclass databases.