About ECAP

You are here

ECAP Project Overview (1993-2016)

The first ECAP programme, The EC-ASEAN Patent and Trade Marks Programme (ECAP I) was implemented between September 1993 and June 1997. ECAP I assisted the ASEAN countries in promoting their systems for the protection of industrial property rights.


Beneficiaries of ECAP I were the six original ASEAN member states, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines, and Singapore. After joining ASEAN in June 1995, Vietnam participated in all regional ECAP I activities and a specific national EC-financed IPR cooperation project was implemented (until December 2000).


ECAP I had a regional component as well as national programme measures according to specific needs of the countries. ECAP I was implemented through advisory services, training, automation projects, production of documentation and search tools, seminars and workshops, study visits to Europe, and symposia held in ASEAN countries and Europe.


The ECAP Programme was the first of its kind and brought ASEAN countries together in the field of IPR.


Following this initial programme, ECAP II, The EC-ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation Programme, was launched in 2000 and focused on furthering harmonisation and long term capability building issues related to IP in the ASEAN Member States.


It expanded the scope of the co-operation activities to all fields of intellectual property rights, namely patents, trade marks, industrial designs, copyrights and related rights, geographical indications, layout designs of integrated circuits and protection of undisclosed information, while ECAP I had focused on industrial property rights only. It also stressed activities in the enforcement area.


It covered eight countries namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, which joined the project at various phases of its implementation. ECAP II assistance focused on individual country needs and was complemented by regional support to ASEAN.


The final evaluation of the ECAP II recommended continuing funding a third phase of ECAP, which should be closely aligned to the main objectives of the ASEAN IP Action Plan.  It further recommended strengthening the role of the ASEAN Secretariat and local counterparts and to encourage and capitalize on opportunities for south-to-south cooperation within ASEAN.


ECAP III was approved by the European Union and ASEAN in a Financing Agreement signed in 2009.  Phase I was implemented by the European Patent Office (EPO) during 2010 and 2011.  In 2012, the European Union and ASEAN reformulated the project content so as to have it realigned in accordance with the ASEAN IPR Action Plan 2011-2015. The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) was entrusted with the implementation of Phase II within a revised timetable and in accordance with a revised set of expected results and project activities to be implemented over the period 2013-2015, with a focus on regional cooperation in the areas of trade marks, industrial designs, geographical indications and IP enforcement.