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Time for ASEAN to Look Again at IP

Issued: May 29 2017

“Despite our differences, there is a commonness about us, and it is more than just economics. We share common values as part of our soul.” - Chew Phye Keat, partner, Raja, Darryl & Loh, Kuala Lumpur

I love ASEAN,” declared Chew Phye Keat, immediate past president of the ASEAN IP Association and a partner at Raja, Darryl & Loh in Kuala Lumpur, during his opening address at the organization’s annual meeting and conference in Manila in April. “Despite our differences, there is a commonness about us, and it is more than just economics. We share common values as part of our soul.”

 

Lawyers in the region have “walked together” to bring the IP world into ASEAN to promote invention and innovation, which leads stakeholders to look at IP in the ASEAN region in a changing global landscape, added Chew.


But is changing too soft a word? Chew said a more appropriate word, given the dramatic events of the last 12 months, may be disruptive, and it is a disruptive world we see around us.

 

Using the Trans-Pacific Partnership as an example, Chew said that four ASEAN members were set to go forward with the agreement, but now the TPP has certainly been disrupted. Those ASEAN countries that were part of the TPP negotiations need to decide what to do about the IP provisions in the agreement. It was a trade deal, Chew pointed out, with IP thrown in. With no trade deal, the question becomes, Chew said, whether the region should look once again at the IP provisions, or go forward as planned.

 

IP brings economic growth to countries, Chew said, but there is a need to ensure a balanced approach to growth and development. Things must be done correctly and at the right time. “We need to get our act right if we are to promote long-term growth” said Chew.

 

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