Patents and the emerging markets of Asia: ASEAN and Thailand
The purpose of this chapter is to examine ASEAN regional economic integration and discuss the role IP plays in the integration process. The chapter also intends to survey the current developments of IP law and policy within ASEAN and to examine the IP infrastructures and institutions of ASEAN members. The aim is to determine the readiness for the ASEAN economic community and to outline what is required for the protection and promotion of domestic creations and innovations of those countries. It first discusses IP integration within ASEAN and the IP norm-setting process under the free trade agreement that ASEAN signed with Australia and New Zealand. The chapter then examines the institutional capacities and resources of Thailand with regard to the administration of IP laws and the enforcement of IP rights. It argues that the country has already adopted IP legislation providing strong protection, but it lacks the necessary human and technical capacity to maximize benefits provided by IP. For ASEAN to be an effective economic community, technical assistance must be provided to help the developing member countries. This assistance should be directed towards the development of human resources and IP infrastructures in order to facilitate the use of IP as a tool for national economic development and integration in ASEAN.