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MyIPO


Do you expect the ASEAN region to grow in importance for IP owners and professionals?


With a combined gross domestic product of $1.6 trillion and a total population estimated to be 600 million, I would expect the region to increase in importance for IP over the next few years. ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has been identifi ed as a region with tremendous economic growth and IP plays a very important role in achieving this goal.


What IP work does MyIPO carry out at the regional level and what does it gain from its involvement?


MyIPO, the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, is a member of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC), which has served as a consultative body for ASEAN cooperation on IP since 1996. T e work of the group has been guided by documents such as the ASEAN IPR Strategic Plan (fi ve-year plan). T e group is mandated to develop, coordinate and implement all IP-related regional programmes and activities in the region.


By being a member of AWGIPC, MyIPO has gained several benefi ts, such as greater public awareness and capacity building. Numerous seminars and workshops, IP day celebrations, multi-media publications and publicity campaigns have been carried out regularly at national and regional levels.


AWGIPC has obtained substantial support, both technical and fi nancial, from numerous ASEAN dialogue partners and organisations. Programmes and activities for capacity building in various IP areas were conducted with dialogue partners such as Australia, China, the European Patent Offi ce, Japan, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the International Trademark Association. Other than that, MyIPO has the opportunity to exchange information with other ASEAN member states.


What is MyIPO doing to improve its cooperation with IP offi ces in the ASEAN region?


As a member of AWGIPC, MyIPO plays an active role by attending all the meetings and participating in all programmes and activities as outlined under the ASEAN IPR Strategic Plan. Under the current IPR Action Plan (2011-2015), Malaysia has been made the country champion for patent administration and promoting IP and innovation for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). T e country champion has to work in close coordination with ASEAN member states and is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the project or activity. Malaysia is also the project proponent for capacity building for patent examiners and will be implementing training schemes for ASEAN member states with the cooperation of other developed IP offi ces.


How open are ASEAN member states to a regional patent offi ce?


Establishing an ASEAN patent offi ce has yet to be considered by the member states. T e obvious benefi t of such an offi ce would be that patent applicants could fi le an application that covers all of the ASEAN countries. Processing patent applications would also be expedited as search and examination results would be shared. But an ASEAN regional offi ce would have to deal with the multiple languages that are used in diff erent ASEAN countries. Translation costs would have to be covered by patent applicants and this would increase fi ling fees.


However, the ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) programme has been underway since June 15, 2009. T is is a cooperation programme between Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Lao PDR, T ailand and Vietnam. T e purpose of the programme is to share search and examination results to allow applicants in participating countries to obtain corresponding patents faster and more effi ciently. T e project aims to reduce the duplication of search and examination work, which would save both time and eff ort. Additionally, search and examination work that is


World Intellectual Property Review January/February 2012 39


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