Management report

Patents in Asia 2017

By Jacob Schindler

The emerging innovation battleground

Running the gamut from advanced high-tech economies to middle-income and developing countries, the Asia-Pacific region presents a diverse set of challenges and opportunities for patent owners. This part of the world is home to three of the so-called ‘IP5’ patent offices (those of China, Japan and South Korea) – the crucial jurisdictions where every major patent owner must register its most important core rights. As more electronics manufacturing, not to mention device sales, moves to the dynamic countries of the ASEAN bloc, patent filings there are picking up pace. In the enforcement realm, Asia is increasingly becoming the locus of major competitor and NPE patent litigation.

While domestic litigation in China has boomed for years now, the past several months have seen an increasing number of foreign companies get in on the act. The remedies available, as you will read in the coming pages, are very strong indeed for plaintiffs; but without a discovery system, they will have to bring an airtight case to the table. Korea and Japan are also important venues, as home to many of the world’s largest corporate patent holders. High-stakes patent litigation is a less-trodden path in Southeast Asian countries, but it is only going to become more common.

IAM has reached out to the most trusted patent firms across a range of Asian jurisdictions to prepare the Patents in Asia supplement that follows. It should serve as a handy reference for chief IP officers over the year to come.

By Jacob Schindler

Asia-Pacific editor, IAM

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Issue 87