Time to rethink your Asian IP strategy?

By Forum member, Adam Hyland, principal of Franke Hyland Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys.

There is a tendency for outsiders to think of Asia, and particularly China, as a place where intellectual property goes to die.

As a place where it is not worth trying to protect your intellectual property because it is too hard to enforce it.

Leaving aside the improvements in enforceability of IP rights in Asian jurisdictions over the past 20 years, again especially in China, there is another way to test this assumption.

That is by looking at what the locals think.

The graph above tells an interesting story.

With a particular choice of food related PCT patent applications, it shows the number of international applications filed by entitles in each of the major economic regions. This growth is reflected across a number of different sectors.

The outstanding growth in patent applications filed by organisations in Asia speaks for itself.

Asia is now the leading source of food technology and food chemistry patents in the world, and its growth does not appear to be slowing.

So it may be time to readjust your perceptions of Asia an IP source and destination, which should lead to a refinement of your commercial IP strategy.

Adam Hyland is principal of Franke Hyland Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys. Adam has over 18 years experience in the patent & trade mark attorney profession in Australia, following 10 years as a process engineer in food manufacturing. He has drafted patent specifications and obtained patents and trade mark registrations in all of the major commercial jurisdictions.

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