ASEAN unveils inaugural Intellectual Property (IP) Register

In partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has formally introduced its inaugural ASEAN Intellectual Property (IP) Register. The ASEAN IP Register functions as a comprehensive information hub that integrates the most current IP data from its ten member states. WIPO will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of this information portal. The primary goal of the portal is to offer a specialized platform where stakeholders can effortlessly conduct IP searches for patents, trademarks, and industrial designs. This service is available through the ASEAN IP Online portal, which complements the existing ASEAN GI Database and ASEAN IP case law resources, providing a valuable, handy IP toolkit for all stakeholders.

The inauguration of the ASEAN IP Register took place at the 55th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting, which was convened in Semarang, Indonesia. Mr. Daren Tang, the Director General of WIPO, jointly officiated the launching ceremony with Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, the ASEAN Secretary-General, and Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, the Minister of Trade for Indonesia. In addition to unveiling the ASEAN IP Register, Mr. Daren Tang and Dr. Kao Kim Hourn also formalized their commitment by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This MoU recognizes the pivotal role of intellectual property (IP) in driving growth and development. WIPO has conveyed its strong determination to collaborate closely with the ASEAN region to enhance IP protection for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and least developed nations. IP is poised to serve as a strategic instrument to aid these communities in their progress and development endeavors.

According to statistics from WIPO, trademark applications originating from ASEAN Member States have surged by an impressive 300% over the last decade. In the same period, patent applications have experienced a 60% increase, and design filings have seen a notable uptick of 30%. These figures indicate that ASEAN’s intellectual property (IP) development has showcased its potential to establish itself as a thriving innovation hub, akin to other advanced nations like China and the United States.

In summary, the introduction of the ASEAN IP Register represents a significant milestone in the advancement of intellectual property within the ASEAN region. This unified platform, offering streamlined IP search capabilities in a common language and accessible to the general public, has been eagerly awaited by IP professionals throughout the ASEAN region. WIPO and ASEAN remain committed to enhancing the user-friendliness of the online portal and will continue their collaborative efforts in this regard. It is imperative that the developers actively seek and incorporate user feedback on an ongoing basis to further refine and optimize the entire system.

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