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Opportunities and Challenges in the Asian Market


Edward Ploysongsang, a law firm partner at the upcoming marcus evans Corporate Counsel Asia Summit 2013 and Litigation Asia Summit 2013, on the protection of intellectual property in Asia, opportunities for international trade and challenges for Small and Medium Enterprises in Asia, and the challenge facing Corporate Counsel.

Interview with: Edward Ploysongsang, Managing Partner, Ployprathip International Law Office (PILO)


The protection of intellectual property (IP) starts internally, so proper employment contracts should be written and protocols put in place, says Edward Ploysongsang, Managing Partner, Ployprathip International Law Office. IP protection of foreign companies planning to enter the Asian market can be further enhanced by forming an alliance with a local partner, he adds.

From a law firm at the marcus evans Corporate Counsel Asia Summit 2013 and Litigation Asia Summit 2013, Ploysongsang advises companies to focus on intra-regional trade.

How can IP be successfully recognised, registered and protected in the Asian market?

The protection of IP whether in Asia or elsewhere starts internally. An in-house counsel strategy including unambiguous, standardised protocols and an effective monitoring system must be put in place to protect IP.

Such protocols should be known by all employees that generate income producing IP, especially members of any research and development department. When a commercially valuable idea is developed, the legal department should immediately be informed before anyone else. This will ensure that IP is registered to its creator and within the market correctly.

When foreign companies locate to Asia, they should survey local laws to ensure that existing standardised contracts, procedures and protocols can be used in the new jurisdiction or else determine what changes are necessary. Conflict of laws often exist and can lead to unintended results. So an initial survey is wise. Also, finding a strategic partner who can help with IP enforcement is important, together with forging strong relations with local authorities.

What advice could you give firms that deal with international trade as the global economy is so unstable at the moment?

Mission statements make companies what they are, so it is important that they stay true to them while also tempering their expectations. Opportunities have risen from economic downturns for firms to re-evaluate their actions and correct their mistakes. Corporate restructuring and strengthening, though not necessarily down-sizing, can result.

Growth in Asia is providing great opportunities for intra-regional trade. For example, the Association of South East Asian Nations has created the Asean Economic Community, a single market with a single production base to promote the free flow of goods, services and capital, while also improving the competitiveness of the region. Therefore companies should look towards Asian intra-regional trade.

How can Corporate Counsel overcome their current challenges?

Post Enron and now the Libor scandal, they must restore credibility. Legal departments and firms should be seen not as cost centres but as institutions that can restore confidence and save money. A way of achieving this is by allowing legal departments to adopt a more proactive role in their companies and to reward them for developing innovative or preventative legal solutions. While legal departments should be treated as cost saving institutions, and not just consulted when there is a problem, with greater authority comes more accountability. Legal departments for example could be held accountable to such metrics as return on investment when they subcontract work to outside law firms.

What legal strategies should be implemented for small and medium sized international businesses in Asia?

These businesses are targets for regulators because they tend to focus more on generating revenue rather than worry about compliance. They need to realise if they seek proactive legal advice, pitfalls and expensive fines can often be avoided.

Contact: Maria Gregoriou, Journalist, marcus evans, Summits Division

Tel: +357 22 849 400

For more information please send an email to or visit the event websites below:

Corporate Counsel Asia Summit 2013: 

Litigation Asia Summit 2013:

The Legal Network – marcus evans Summits group delivers peer-to-peer information on strategic matters, professional trends and breakthrough innovations.


Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About Ployprathip International Law Office

Ployprathip International Law Office (PILO) is a full-service law firm in Thailand. It provides clients with solutions that are practical and cost-effective, while forging long-term relations based on mutual trust and understanding. PILO is a member of Mackrell International, a global network of independent law firms. As a result, PILO has access to inter-firm expertise comparable to larger firms.

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About marcus evans Summits

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