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What’s the best intellectual property (IP) strategy for South-East Asia?

The South-East Asia IP SME Helpdesk, an initiative of the European Commission, supports SMEs in the European Union (EU) and the other countries of the Single Market Programme (SMP)* to both protect and enforce their Intellectual Property (IP) rights in or relating to South-East Asian countries, through the provision of free information and services.

Increasing numbers of companies are operating in international environments. When expanding into fresh markets, it’s essential to consider protecting your assets, especially your intellectual property (IP) rights (such as patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, etc.). Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to manage their IP portfolio effectively: it’s not just about protecting your valuable rights, you can create new global business opportunities too. A strong IP strategy will help SMEs to internationalise in emerging markets.

South-East Asia (SEA) is a promising destination for European SMEs. South-East Asia consists of 10 countries that follow open policies when dealing with international companies and offer active incentives to attract foreign investment. In 2021, the total population of all ASEAN states amounted to an estimated 666.19 million inhabitants and in 2022, the estimated total GDP of all ASEAN states amounted to approximately 3.63 trillion U.S. dollars, a significant increase from the previous years. In fact, the GDP of the ASEAN region has been skyrocketing for a few years now, reflecting the region’s thriving economy.

More and more SMEs are willing to do business in or with SEA – representing the EU's 3rd largest trading partner outside Europe (after China and the US) with more than €271.8 billion of trade in goods in 2022.

However, the language and cultural differences plus complex regulatory environment of the region are often a challenge. When it comes to IP, each of the 10 countries in SEA has its own practical rules and regulations to govern the complex IP environment. That’s a lot of legislation to understand and navigate! 

Our Helpdesk is here to help you and your business partners protect, and build on, your valuable assets before entering SEA – or even if you are already there.

Book a meeting with our IP Business Advisor to:

  • understand what IP is, how you can protect your assets, why IP should be a crucial part of your internationalisation process and what benefits it can provide;
  • learn about the specific IP landscape of any/every country in SEA;
  • clarify any doubts you may have.

The 1 to 1 consultation, like all our services, is completely FREE! What are you waiting for?
Book here: http:\\

* The Single Market Programme countries are currently all EU member states plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.


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