ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and comprises of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Co-operation (AWGIPC) is the team that works on cooperation within the framework of the ASEAN bloc. One of their aim is to have a fully functioning ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) programme. This programme will allow for the sharing of search and examination results among participating ASEAN intellectual property offices. This should reduce duplication within ASEAN.
One issue that undermined this sharing initiative was the language barriers, each country speaks a different language, with the exception of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei (they speak a similar language). It was recently agreed that all documents submitted for the purpose of ASPEC should be in English.
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