WIPO organized the meeting, WIPO-ASEAN Youth Digital Forum, under the theme of “Building a Resilient ASEAN Digital Economy: Youth Entrepreneurs and Intellectual Property Rights” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from November 15 to 17, 2023, in partnership with the ASEAN Youth Organization and IP Corporation of Malaysia with support from Funds-In-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global.
The focus of the forum was on the convergence of young entrepreneurs, the digital economy, and intellectual property (IP). In addition to the discussion about key challenges faced by young entrepreneurs in the ASEAN region, including limited access to funding, infrastructure disparities, legal complexities across countries, specific IP-related issues were highlighted.
The following ones were raised and discussed during the Forum:
Lack of awareness about the importance of IP rights in the digital economy - Leading to increased risks of infringement and the undervaluation of innovative assets as well as inadequate or lack of IP protection
Misperception about IP rights (e.g. differences among IP rights, expensive/complicated to register IP, registration of IP in different markets, ownership of ideas/inventions created by employees, IP strategy and business plan are separate and the former can wait to be done later, etc.)
Resource constraints for registering and enforcing IP rights - Limiting the ability to secure and defend IP.
Dealing with digital piracy and counterfeiting - Enforcing IP rights against infringing entities and pirates is challenging and time-consuming.
Quicker process to secure IP rights - Delays in obtaining patents or trademarks impact the competitiveness of young entrepreneurs in fast-evolving digital economy.
Management of IP rights across borders – Unsure of how to secure IP rights in different markets and navigating through international and national IP systems.
Positive feedback from participants emphasized the desire for more opportunities to learn about using IP in-depth. To address this, remote mentoring sessions are planned for selected participants from ASEAN countries to provide tailored, hands-on advice on specific IP themes in coming months.