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Technology transfer  -This is the transferring of technical know-how, skills, technology or methods of production from one company to another.

Trade fairs  – Trade fairs are exhibitions which allow companies in a certain industry to showcase their products or services. Although attending a trade fair or exhibition in South-East Asia can reap substantial benefits, SMEs should be aware of the associated risks from exposing IP to potential infringers.

Trade marks  - Generally speaking, a trade mark is a sign which serves on the market to distinguish the goods and/or services of one undertaking from the goods and/or services of others, and over which the owner has an exclusive right. Trade marks are words, logos, devices or other distinctive features which can be represented graphically. In some South-East Asia countries, such as Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand, they may also consist of the shape of goods or their packaging in three-dimensional form.

Trade marks are an essential part of the identity of goods and services. They help deliver brand recognition, i.e. they distinguish your company from the competition. They also help to build trust, reputation and goodwill for your company, as well as play an important role in marketing and advertising.

Trade secrets – While the conditions for protection guaranteed by a trade secret may vary from country to country, typically three general standards exist which are referred to in Article 39 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). A trade secret is information that:

- is not generally known to the public (kept as confidential);

- confers some sort of economic benefit on its holder;

- is the subject of reasonable efforts by the rightful holder of the information to maintain its secrecy (e.g., through confidentiality agreements).

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), any confidential business or industrial information (including sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes) which provides an enterprise a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret. Most theft of trade secrets cases involves current or former employees. Protection of trade secrets is not applied uniformly across South-East Asia; visit our IP Factsheets for country-specific information.

For more details about the above terms and concepts, you can also check out the China IPR SME Helpdesk and the EU IPR Helpdesk