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Asean's disharmony with intellectual property

Dealing with a copycat culture and the need to protect traditional knowledge are part and parcel of IP issues for Asean

Fake cosmetics about to be destroyed in Cambodia. The rise of e-commerce has enabled counterfeiters to easily market their wares globally - disrupting the way in which fake goods are being sold and transported and ultimately resulting in smaller ship
Fake cosmetics about to be destroyed in Cambodia. The rise of e-commerce has enabled counterfeiters to easily market their wares globally - disrupting the way in which fake goods are being sold and transported and ultimately resulting in smaller shipments and smaller seizures of such products, says the writer. PHOTO: REUTERS
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Talking about intellectual property in developing countries is often difficult and tricky. The issue is not a lack of entrepreneurship, innovation or original products in these countries. Rather, it is the availability of a sufficient support infrastructure for protecting intellectual property (IP).

Firstly, intellectual property concerns have to compete with myriad disparate needs of developing countries for resources, be it expertise, time or funds, and tend to be given less attention than more foundational needs like security and education.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2018, with the headline Asean's disharmony with intellectual property . Subscribe