Legal & Regulatory

Design Rights Protection in South East Asia

Posted on by

By: South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

It is essential for SMEs doing business in South East Asia to protect their intellectual property rights, as poor IP strategy often leads to the end of the business endeavor in the region. Design rights are useful, but oftentimes overlooked means of protecting IP in South East Asia.

An industrial design right, also known as a design patent in certain jurisdictions, is an exclusive right, which protects designs which give a competitive edge to the owner over competitors due to their aesthetic appeal. Industrial designs can take the form of either two- or three-dimensional shapes, configuration or patterns. Prominent examples include the iPod, shape of the Coca Cola bottle, computer icons, and even the design of mobile applications.

To obtain industrial design protection, SMEs must file an application to register the design in all the countries they foresee business activities, since design rights like other IP rights are territorial. Like patents, protection for industrial rights lasts for a limited period and the duration can vary from country to country. Generally, protection lasts for at least 10 years.

Furthermore, industrial rights protection can be an asset to businesses. The success of a product or service is usually influenced by its visual appearance, where aesthetic appeal is one of the critical factors influencing consumer decisions. It is thus important for SMEs to draft a protection strategy matching the business strategy for the product or service in question.

Continue reading…

Key Highlights of Cambodia-China Double Taxation Treaty

Posted on by

By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

Recently, China’s State Administration of Taxation (the SAT) released an announcement, setting out the effectiveness of the new China-Cambodian Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) and the associated protocol. The new DTT – signed on October 13, 2016 – entered into force on January 26, 2018, and will be applicable to income received on or after January 1, 2019. 

The treaty aims to create a clear legal framework built on increased fiscal transparency that will improve the tax collection mechanism between the two countries and increase cross-border trade and investment.

It is important to note that the DTT does not apply to Hong Kong or Macau, as these regions have a separate tax system and do not fall under the taxation laws of the People’s Republic of China.

Continue reading…

Laos Increases Minimum Monthly Wage for the Third Time in Eight Years

Posted on by

ASEAN Regulatory Brief

By Dezan Shira & Associates

The Lao government has increased the country’s monthly minimum wage from Kip 900,000 (US$108) to Kip 1,100,000 (US$132) with effect from May 1, 2018. An increase of 11 percent, the wage increase will apply to all businesses and factories established in the country. This is the third such raise in the last eight years. In early 2012, the minimum monthly wage doubled from Kip 348,000 (US$41.5) to Kip 626,000 (US$74.7). In 2015, it rose to Kip 900,000 (US$107.4).

Continue reading…

Myanmar’s Daily Minimum Wage Increased from Kyat 3,600 to Kyat 4,800

Posted on by

ASEAN Regulatory Brief

By Dezan Shira & Associates

Myanmar’s union government has increased the country’s daily minimum wage for an eight-hour work day from Kyat 3,600 (US$2.65) to Kyat 4,800 (US$3.54). The revised wage, which came into effect from 14 May will apply to all businesses with 10 or more employees irrespective of the location or type of work.

Continue reading…

Cambodia Grants Validation to European Union Patents

Posted on by

By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

In January 2017, the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and the European Patent Organization (EPO) entered into an agreement on validation of European patents. The agreement came into effect on March 1, this year and makes Cambodia the first Asian country to grant validation to European patents. Similar agreements have come into force between the EPO and Morocco, between the EPO and Moldova, and between the EPO and Tunisia in the last three years.

Continue reading…

IP Protection in the Philippines’ Food and Beverage Industry

Posted on by

By: South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

The Philippines’ rapidly growing food and beverage (F&B) industry is one of the biggest contributors to the nation’s economy making up about half of its manufacturing sector and contributing about 23-24 percent of the country’s GDP. The Philippines is one of Asia’s largest producers of food, with the value of its food processing sector exceeding EUR 24 billion (US$28.75 billion). Given the Philippine government’s commitment to further developing the country’s F&B industry as one of the priority industries and opening it up further to foreign investments, the Philippines’ F&B industry has become even more attractive for European SMEs.

Propelled by increasing disposable income among its upper and middle classes and the proliferation of retail and shopping centers as well as a highly urbanized population, the Philippine’s domestic food and beverages market looks quite promising for European SMEs. The Philippines’ consumers appreciate the high quality and healthy nature of European food and beverage products. As a general trend, the Philippines’ young and fast-growing consumer base is gradually becoming more health-conscious and is increasingly willing to try out new products. As the spending power of the upper-middle and middle class is increasing, there is also greater demand for imported premium products, which offers many business opportunities for European SMEs. 

Continue reading…

Indonesia Eases Tax Holiday Policy for New FDI Projects

Posted on by

ASEAN Regulatory BriefBy Dezan Shira & Associates

In a bid to attract more investment to support the country’s economic growth, Indonesia recently issued a new regulation granting a 100 percent Corporate Income Tax (CIT) cut to new FDI-backed businesses.

Further, the new regulation grants tax holidays to new investors in any of the 17 pioneer industries including transportation, telecommunications, robotic components, oil and gas refinery, train engines, medical devices, pharmaceutical raw materials, power plant machinery, and processing of metals and agricultural products among others. Pioneer industries are those that create added value, introduce advanced technology and have strategic value for the national economy. Previously, the provision was available to only eight such industries.

Continue reading…

Managing Trade Secrets in Thailand

Posted on by

By: South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

ASEAN Briefing-Managing Trade Secrets in Thailand (003)

Trade secrets are a highly valuable form of intellectual property that nearly all businesses in all industries and sectors possess. However, they are frequently overlooked by businesses, partly because there is confusion about what actually constitutes a trade secret. So what is a trade secret?

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), any confidential business information that is of considerable commercial value to businesses and that provides an enterprise with a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret. In practice, this could be:

  • sales methods
  • distribution methods
  • consumer profiles
  • advertising plans
  • pricing strategies
  • lists of suppliers and clients
  • manufacturing processes

Continue reading…

IP Considerations in Singapore’s Healthcare and Medical Technologies Sector

Posted on by

By: South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

Underpinned by both rising disposable income and progressively aging population, Singapore offers various promising business opportunities to European SMEs engaged in the healthcare and medical technologies sectors, whose topnotch technology is increasingly sought after. Furthermore, Singapore’s healthcare expenditure is expected to grow about 10 percent by 2020 and the government is committed to offering better healthcare to its citizens as it has dedicated a budget of EUR 2.64 billion to developing the health and biomedical sciences sector in Singapore over the next five years.[1]

European SMEs who are engaged in developing medical diagnostics tools, especially in the areas of immunochemistry, point-of-care devices, and molecular diagnostics, or developing medical solutions catered towards functional ageing and fighting obesity-related and chronic diseases, can expect to find plenty of business opportunities in Singapore, as these areas are currently developing fastest in the country. Similarly, SMEs that are engaged in digital dentistry, can expect to find promising business opportunities, as there is a rising interest in digital dentistry in Singapore.[2] As Singapore aspires to become Asia’s digital healthcare hub, European SMEs can also use Singapore as a gateway to other South-East Asian countries, whose demand for healthcare technologies is similar to Singapore.

Continue reading…

Myanmar’s New Companies Law

Posted on by

By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Singapore Employment Permits - Part II

On December 6, 2017, Myanmar’s President U Htin Kyaw approved the new Myanmar Companies Act, 2017, replacing the country’s century-old Companies Act of 1914. The new law aims to change the way companies are regulated in the country. It will modernize company formation and management, and significantly revise corporate governance in Myanmar, bringing the country’s company legislation at par with international standards.

The Act was drafted by Myanmar’s Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA) with technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It offers a wide range of regulations that are relevant to foreign investors and businesses operating in Myanmar. Some of these are discussed below.

Continue reading…

Never Miss an Update

Subscribe to gain even better insights into doing business in ASEAN. Subscribing also lets you to take full advantage of all our website features including customizable searches, favorite, wish list and gift functions and access to otherwise restricted content.

Scroll to top