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ERIA Reports on IPR project to the 4th ASEAN-Japan Heads of IP Offices Meeting

10 July 2014

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Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam. The ASEAN-Japan Heads of Intellectual Property (IP) Offices Meeting is a framework aimed at strengthening the cooperation between ASEAN IP Offices and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) as well as improving the IP environment in this region.

During their 3rd Meeting in Kyoto, Japan in 2013, the ASEAN-Japan IP Heads decided to jointly propose the research project "Intellectual Property Policy for Investment Promotion" to ERIA, recognizing that in order to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) in ASEAN, the region needs to ensure the protection and enforcement of IP of its trading partners. As such, it is important to identify and adopt an attractive IP policy for them.

The 4th Meeting of the Heads was held on 2 July this year at the REX Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam. The Co-chairs of the Meeting, BG. Tan Yih San, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as well as Chair of the ASEAN Working Group for Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC), and Mr. Hideo Hato, the Commissioner of JPO, invited ERIA to the Meeting and requested it to report on the progress of the project. Prof. Shigemi Yoneyama of Gakusyuin Universiy, the Leader of the project, Dr. Phan Quoc Nguyen of Viet Nam National University, the Vietnamese member of the project, and Mr. Shimpei Yamamoto, Managing Director for Research Affairs of ERIA who represented ERIA, jointly reported on the progress of the project.

Dr. Phan explained about the survey results in Viet Nam, saying that most of the multi-national companies (MNCs) in Viet Nam faced IP problems which they tended to settle by negotiation. Meanwhile, Prof. Yoneyama explained the outline of the study, results of the survey and the future plans. He said that 91 subsidiaries of the MNCs have been surveyed so far. According to the survey, MNCs pay greater attention to "Size and Growth of Market" rather than IP issues when they establish their subsidiaries. However, after the subsidiaries have been established, IP issues become more important.

The ASEAN IP Offices accepted the ERIA report very positively. They asked about the permissible time period for examination and the obtaining cost of trademark for MNCs. They were also interested in the difference of interest among the industrial sectors. Finally, they expressed their appreciation of the ERIA project and endorsed its continuation.

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