5 December 2023
PCC leads discussion of Competition and IP Rights interface at 10th ASEAN Competition Conference
MANILA, 5 December 2023 – The 10th ASEAN Competition Conference (ACC) called for stronger regional collaboration to address emerging issues arising from the interface of competition and intellectual property (IP) laws.
Hosted by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), the two-day conference held in Manila assembled policymakers, regulators, representatives from the judiciary, academe, and industry experts to foster a more competitive and innovative ASEAN.
In his opening remarks, PCC Chairperson Michael G. Aguinaldo stressed the importance of cross-border cooperation in tackling the growing complexity of competition-related issues.
“With the increasing integration of value chains, both within our region and beyond, it has never been more relevant to explore emerging best practices across our respective fields in order to ensure a comprehensive approach towards problem-solving,” he said.
Aguinaldo views forums like the 10th ACC as crucial platforms for ASEAN leaders to illuminate issues and forge common ground “where all can reap the benefits of sound competition policy, solid intellectual property protections, and continuing innovations.”
Philippines’ Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo delivered the keynote address at the conference, where he emphasized the judiciary’s pivotal role in shaping a competitive market that benefits consumers and businesses alike.
He cited the Philippine judiciary’s contributions to competition law, including the issuance of rules governing inspection orders for administrative investigations undertaken by the PCC, and the promulgation of decisions that clarified and defined the powers of the PCC and provisions of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA).
“Through its decisions, it [the judiciary] creates a legal landscape that will foster economic growth and ensure that the fruits of progress are equitably shared amongst all members of the community,” Gesmundo said.
Addressing the judiciary’s role in empowering local innovators and protecting intellectual property (IP) rights, he reiterated the need for a delicate balance between fostering innovation and preventing the misuse of IP to create monopolistic or anti-competitive market conditions.
“Against the backdrop of legal principles and broader policy objectives, the judiciary should be deeply aware of the socio-economic implications of its decisions,” Gesmundo added.
With the theme, “From Innovation to Impact: Synergizing Antitrust and IP Regulation for a Stronger ASEAN,” the 10th ACC tackled topics such as intellectual property regulation in the pharmaceutical industry, anticompetitive practices through licensing in ASEAN markets, the rise of artificial intelligence and IP in digital platforms, promoting market access in biotechnology, and the relevance of competition to technology transfer.
The 10th ACC, which was held on November 29-30, was co-organized by the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition. The event also drew participants from around the globe, including Japan, Australia, the US, the UK, the EU, Hong Kong, China, and Russia.
PCC Public Affairs and Research Division