Andrew Stoutley, chief operating officer of Tilleke & Gibbins, provided a lengthy quote to Asian Legal Business (ALB) for a recent feature on how law firms in Southeast Asia are increasingly using data analytics and information to drive their business strategy. The article featured contributions from a number of partners and executives from firms across Southeast Asia on the different ways that their firms are applying data to their operations and incorporating information and analytics into their strategic decision-making processes. In his contribution, Andrew explained that as technology has become central to virtually all operations at Tilleke & Gibbins, metrics and data have been harnessed to inform decisions at all levels. To illustrate this, he gave the example of a broad strategic planning process that the firm has undertaken to lay out strategy for the coming years. Identifying and gathering key quantitative and qualitative data points was crucial to the process, which considers every element of the firm’s planned operations for the next several years. Andrew went on to discuss the importance of determining how best to share the data with the relevant stakeholders, such as through visualizations or dashboards that allow staff to monitor the progress of operations. The other informants for the article reported a similar uptick in reliance on data—such as in competitive intelligence, billing, and matter management—and emphasized the necessity for firms to recognize the value of data as a resource that must be protected and used wisely. The full article is available on page 4 of the September 2021 issue of ALB.
Chandavya Ing, an associate in the intellectual property group of Tilleke & Gibbins’ Phnom Penh office, coauthored an article titled “The Fate of Dependent Patents in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam—A Comparison with the Situation in Germany and India” with Prof. Dr. Heinz Goddar, a patent attorney and partner in the Munich office of Boehmer & Boehmer. The article appeared in the September 2021 issue of les Nouvelles, the journal of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI). Dependent patents are new patents that also rely on a previous one, such as when an invention builds on or adds new technology to a previous patented invention. This approach to securing commercial rights for progressive inventions is often seen in patent-heavy fields such as telecommunications and advanced technology. Commercializing a dependent patent without infringing the earlier patent (i.e., the one that it depends on) requires licensing from the holder of the earlier patent. If this proves unworkable, the dependent patent cannot go to market. While this may ensure that the original patent rights are upheld, such an impasse can also block innovation and progress. As the authors explain in the article, Germany and India (as well as other countries such as Russia and Taiwan) will enlist a state party in an effort to resolve any such situation that arises, often through a de-blocking mechanism such as a compulsory or non-voluntary license. The article then looks in detail at the de-blocking mechanisms and provisions in the legal and regulatory environment of various countries in Southeast Asia, before offering comparison to the situation in Germany and India. Overall, the authors conclude that a more active (but balanced) use of compulsory licensing—which already exists in many Southeast Asian countries but is not frequently employed outside of the pharmaceutical sector—might help clear patent-related obstacles to further technological development in patent-heavy fields, thus enabling technology transfer that would benefit Southeast Asian countries’ economies and technological development. The full article is available on the LESI website (subscription required).
On August 5, Athistha (Nop) Chitranukroh and Peerapong Pornpipatkul of Tilleke & Gibbins’ corporate and commercial group in Bangkok were welcomed as keynote speakers for a session entitled “Legal Unfolded” under the Startup Starter Kit series. Hosted by Global Startup Thailand—an initiative cofounded by Startup Thailand and the National Innovation Agency (NIA)—the Startup Starter Kit series is designed to provide practical business advice to local and international entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on new opportunities in Thailand. During the session, Athistha and Peerapong led attendees through an in-depth look at common legal concerns for startups in Thailand, including extensive discussions on: local laws and legal issues to consider before fundraising; negotiating term sheets, share subscription agreements, and shareholders’ agreements; Thai cybersecurity and data protection laws; and potential exit strategies for entrepreneurs. For more information on the webinar, which was delivered in Thai, please visit the event page.
Eric Meyer, a foreign consultant in Tilleke & Gibbins’ dispute resolution department, was profiled in the latest issue of Thai-American Business (T-AB), the quarterly magazine of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM). As co-chair of the AMCHAM Legal Committee, Eric is extremely active in the American business community in Thailand. He applies his unique combination of legal expertise and practical awareness of business concerns in Thailand to identify topics and organize events that are interesting and relevant to a broad range of people. In the T-AB profile, Eric recounts how he came to be involved in AMCHAM after joining Tilleke & Gibbins four years ago, and notes that participation in the group has been an excellent way to stay current with the business community and build connections with professionals across various industries. In response to a question on the outlook for ease of doing business in Thailand, Eric sounded a hopeful note, explaining that the country’s strides in the areas of streamlining and digitizing various aspects of doing business should be able to continue after COVID-19, which has actually hastened digitization in several legal areas that had previously been slower to adapt to recent technological advances. Eric now looks forward to continuing to provide important leadership to the AMCHAM Legal Committee as the country and its business community seek to overcome the persistent challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and move toward a sustainable economic recovery.