Danish businessman co-launched IPR network in Thailand

The fight against some Thai companies’ blatant disrespect for foreign companies’ intellectual property rights changed gear on 27 February 2003 when Danish businessman Tom Sorensen and EU ambassador Klauspeter Schmallenbach launched a joint public/private body to improve the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Thailand.
      Previously, private companies have mainly been on their own, using specialized law firms like Tilleke & Gibbins in their individual fight against Thai violators.
      The new EU IPR Network will seek solutions to the IPR abuses faced by many European businesses in Thailand by bringing together representatives of European companies, all the embassies of the EU Member States’ and the Delegation of the European Commission. The Network will meet on a regular basis and set up working groups to focus on enforcement, public awareness and information and communication issues.
      The network will provide a forum where European companies can air their concerns and speak for them with a single voice on IPR issues in a constructive dialogue with the Thai authorities.
      Tom Sorensen is President of the Danish-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the European Chambers of Commerce in Thailand and highly respected for his relentless efforts to improve the business climate for foreign companies in Thailand. Klauspetter Schmallenbach is Ambassador-Head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Thailand. Both share the belief that a united public/private front is what is needed today if the fight against IPR abuse in Thailand is to make any real progress.
      “IPR infringements not only affect European companies in this country, but also their performance elsewhere because Thailand well known to be a major source of pirated products destined for other markets,” Tom Sorensen says.
      Ambassador Schmallenbach is not less outspoken.
      “Stroll through the streets of Bangkok or browse its many shopping malls and you will encounter a huge variety of pirate goods. This is just the tip of the iceberg; the visible end of the IPR infringement spectrum,” he says.
      “Less noticeable, but perhaps far more worrying are counterfeit medicines, car parts, cosmetics, spirits, tools and machinery which are also widely available. Such copy products not only violate the rights of the IPR owner, they also put at risk the health and safety of those buying these products,” he adds
      The EU IPR Network will pool the knowledge, expertise and experience of EU companies in Thailand facing IPR problems. Through the official support of the European Commission and the EU Member States embassies, the Network will also actively work to improve the situation to the benefit of EU companies and consumers alike.
      Tom Sorensen, Chairman of the European Chambers of Commerce invited all European companies facing IPR problems to join the Network.
      “Private companies are on the front line in the fight against IPR violations and this network will act as a catalyst for increased cooperation between them.”

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