With business uncertainty and economic turmoil in conflict zones, IP infringement is bound to happen.  Manh Hung Tran, co-chair of Asia-Pacific IP and Technology Practice, was featured in an Asia IP article where he discussed the proactive measures and strategies that companies can adopt to safeguard IP assets in conflict zones. Hung commented that it is essential to consider the applicable laws at the conflict zone because IP rights are established and enforced by law, especially local law, given their territorial effect.

When it comes to future-proofing their businesses, Hung said that companies should constantly monitor the situation in conflict zones to keep themselves updated with any political, economic and legal developments that may affect their IP rights and interests. They should also audit their IP portfolio regularly, as well as enrich it with more IP rights established through international systems.

“Enrichment of the IP portfolio also includes establishing rights (filing for registration, accumulating goodwill) for defensive purposes in even the jurisdiction in which rightsholders have yet to intend to do business,” Hung said. “For trademark, subject to any sanctions applicable in the conflict zone, the continued use and generation of goodwill of the mark in the concerned market is important. For inventions, if the local patent system does not exist, is too difficult, or offers insufficient protection, rightsholders can consider protecting those inventions as copyright or trade secrets if appropriate.”

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