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IP litigation is a big deal in Asia

Peter Leung

As businesses turn their attention to Asia, it’s inevitable that there is a corresponding increase in the number of IP disputes. This year, what were some of the most important cases around the region?

Businesses around the world have embraced the importance of IP, and this is especially true in Asia which many see as a high-growth region. Notwithstanding complaints about the state of IP protection in some countries here, the high number of headline-grabbing disputes in jurisdictions such as China and India show an increasing reliance on intellectual property. Governments in Asia increasingly see the value of IP and are touting their expertise and support for rights owners.

Even smaller jurisdictions like Hong Kong and Singapore are in the act. Singapore has long touted its goal to be a centre for IP services, and in August hosted its Global Forum on Intellectual Property, a week-long event featuring speakers such as David Kappos and Francis Gurry. Hong Kong also has plans to be an IP trading hub based on its advantage in providing support support for this marketplace, not to mention its proximity to China.

This Thursday and Friday, Hong Kong is hosting its own intellectual property conference to help strengthen its role as an IP marketplace. Business of IP (BIP) Asia, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, will feature keynote speakers Tian Lipu of SIPO and CY Leung, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong (right), and will focus on the commercialisation of IP.

Of course, with this increased interest on IP in the region, more and more IP litigation is inevitable. China, for example, saw a 46% increase in IP litigation in 2012, with 87,419 cases filed. To highlight this trend, Managing IP will be hosting a panel at BIP Asia announcing the cases of the year from around the region. I will be sitting down with representatives from the winning parties to discuss each dispute, what important legal issues were involved, and what lessons do these cases teach rights holders about doing business in their jurisdiction. Though it would be unseemly to reveal the cases before the event, some of the biggest brands in the world including Huawei and Longchamp were involved.

If you find yourself in Hong Kong in later this week, you can register for BIP Asia here. Be sure to stop by and say hello.


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