Several South East Asian countries have attempted to keep a database of well known trademarks, primarily to help trademark examiners prevent unauthorised registrations of copy marks. These have usually been a failure, because measuring fame is a classic intangible. Yet countries faced pressure to stop an avalanche of unauthorised 'pirate trademark' applications usually from local businesses. As the region develops IP Komodo believes this is starting to slow down probably as a function of increased economic development and awareness of IP. A lack of sanction for unauthorised registrations and weak bad faith rules however perpetuates the problem in some places.
Indonesia remains a problem country, with class 25 apparel a rich target for local businesses to target up and coming foreign luxury brands. One local tobacco group still insists on registering famous brands for its cigarettes to the annoyance of many brand owners - such as their Rolex cigarettes! Indonesian TM Office attempts to run famous mark lists failed years ago. Now brand owners must file oppositions and on occasions when these fail (inconsistent examination remains a problem), they must file cancellation litigation at great cost in the civil courts. So trademark pirates can still exploit examiners' lack of overseas brand knowledge, and no penalties for bad faith acts.
Thailand has attempted to run a system recording well-known marks since 2005 under its Board of Well-Known Marks. However examination has been on hold for years and new applications now languish. Of several hundred well-known marks filed around 75 have been accepted. Meanwhile there are suggestions of amendment to the rules, but the Board has insufficient team members. The political deadlock adds problems. In practice there may be little value in continuing this register given how few pirate applications are made these days in Thailand.
The Philippines also used to have its share of pirate marks, but these have dwindled in recent years due to the increased efficiency of the IPO, its high quality opposition system under the BLA and presumably increased awareness of the futility of registering others' brands. See some of the IP Komodo reports on well known mark holders successes by clicking the Philippines Trademark link below right. The two previous attempts to keep well known mark lists in the Philippines have also withered. The last IPO list in October 2010 was a list of marks declared as well known decisions by the BLA, and its predecessor the BPTTT. But it has not been updated.
IP Komodo thinks these lists are pointless as they are always inaccurate and out of date. Examiners' cursory internet searching ought to catch most pirate version of famous marks. Ideally there ought to be better quality examination and opposition decisions that refuse copies of famous marks more robustly.