ASEAN’s long awaited IPR action plan 2016-25 is now in operation.
It is an ambitious plan with a long time frame. It contains many projects under its 19 Initiatives. Most have champion countries to drive them forwards. Many relate to improvement of IP services delivery (especially through capacity building and better IT adoption), some cover harmonization of registration systems, some are about joining more international IP treaties and yet more cover greater regional IP cooperation.
There are a number of projects to develop innovation through patent infrastructure support to researchers and universities, such as improved IP office and national science & technology R&D Institutes, and University cooperation. Hopefully this will help local patent filings grow from ASEAN member states. More could perhaps be done to support private sector patenting.
Initiative 12, a Regional Action Plan on IPR Enforcement is of interest. This includes capturing data on enforcement cases, best practices and national guidelines for criminal and civil cases, improved links between national IP offices and the judiciary. This is the first time the regional group has begun to focus on enforcement. Much of the IP enforcement weaknesses are a subset of general legal system weaknesses, so let's see how this initiative comes together.