Welcome to the

ASEAN IP Training Platform for SMEs


This site was developed for the Intellectual Property (IP) Offices of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to provide a user-friendly tool for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region. This SME eLearning Platform is aimed at becoming a one-stop learning and information tool on IP to improve the capacity of the productive sector, especially SMEs, in the ASEAN countries, to create, protect and manage their own products, services, and other creations by using IP as a tool for development.


The examples used in the eLearning site come from the public databases of the ASEAN Member States. The eLearning Platform is accessible for free and the examples are used only for learning purposes.

About the course

If you are reading this training and information material, it is probably because you are from the SME sector, a representative of an SME, or you work for a local institution that supports SMEs, and, most definitely, you are from the ASEAN region.

If you are following this course, it is also because you realize that unfortunately “business as usual” is no longer an option, as competition nowadays is becoming more and more fierce. You have therefore recognized that either you outdo your competitors (from your own country, from other ASEAN countries and … from the entire world) by gaining a competitive edge -- whatever that might be -- or this might mean the end of your company.

Do you have an SME in one of the ASEAN countries?
Do you have ideas to improve your business?
Do you manufacture products or deliver services?
Do you want to start thinking big and export beyond your country?
Are you worried about the increasing competition?


If the answers to one or more of the questions above are positive, then you should continue: this program will empower you to develop your business to an unprecedented level, will help you identify your own competitive advantage, protect it, and start thinking differently and … big.

Have you ever asked yourself why so many consumers prefer to buy well-known foreign brands, even perhaps counterfeits instead of spending less money for local products that are often just as good as a foreign brand name in terms of quality? Why is it that local or homegrown companies do not develop products that provide the consumers with the same gratification, excitement, and sense of belonging to the international community as when they buy foreign brands?

After all, local companies could use local raw materials, without having to import them from abroad. They could also take advantage of the local work force that is certainly less expensive than in many other countries. So, why can’t they successfully compete with foreign producers?

The answer may encompass a number of considerations, but one element is clear: branding!

Consumers do not buy foreign brands simply for the quality inherent in those products, but because of the particular aesthetical form that those products have (in other words: their beauty!) and, even more, because of their name, their brand, the emotional connotation that those particular brand names carry with them.

This guide is directly addressed to local SMEs like you to provide you with the practical knowledge and the skills necessary to make your company more successful by creating an effective brand for your products, by focusing more on the beauty and attractiveness of your products, by taking advantage of the other intellectual property rights or IPRs, by protecting and efficiently exploiting your various assets, in your country and abroad.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

Explain why Intellectual Property may represent a valuable tool to remain competitive on the global market;
Provide a definition of the notion of “branding” and point to the IP rights that fall under this concept;
Describe the main legal characteristics that a mark must have in order to be validly registered in your country and abroad;
List at least five criteria that should guide your choice of a successful mark;
Provide a definition of industrial design and explain its role for commercial success;
Describe the legal characteristics for the validity of an industrial design;
Define the routes protection available to you for trademarks and industrial designs;
Explain the notion of domain name and describe how to adopt one;
Outline the main features of the Madrid system for international registration of marks and know when to use the system;
Understand the Hague system for the international registration of industrial designs;
Define the concept of geographical indications;
Understand the actions you can take to enforce your IPRs;
List the creations that may be protected under copyright and explain the type of exclusive rights deriving from copyright protection.

    Available courses

    How is IP relevant to SMEs?

    Would you like to see your products on the shelves of major stores in the major cities of the globe?
    If YES, read on….

    What is IP?

    Intellectual Property (IP) protection is your answer

    What are the different IP rights?

    IP might be the key for your commercial success

    How do you exploit and enforce your IP rights?

    How can you protect your IP rights?

    Protect your trademarks and industrial designs in your country and abroad