Malaysia IP Development

  Intellectual property (IP) protection in Malaysia is comprised of patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights, geographical indications and layout designs of integrated circuits. Malaysia is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and a signatory to the Paris Convention and Berne Convention. Malaysia is also a signatory to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs). Moreover, Malaysia is continually working towards better global integration in terms of intellectual property, for instance, it became a member of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty in December 27, 2012. Also, Malaysia has developed close relationship and cooperation with neighboring countries under the framework of ASEAN.
  The Patents Act of 1983 (last amended in 2006) and the Patents Regulations of 1986 (last amended in 2011) govern patent protection in Malaysia.
  Under the Act and Regulations, an application for a patent can be made directly in Malaysia and registration is effective all over Malaysia. Similar to the provisions in other countries’ legislation, an invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable.
  In accordance with TRIPs, under the scope of a compulsory license, the Act allows for importation of patented products that are already in the other countries’ market (parallel imports).
  The Government can prohibit commercial exploitation of patents for reasons of public order or morality. The Act is amended to include a provision for the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and to allow importation under the scope of a compulsory license.
  Trademark protection in Malaysia is governed by the Trademark Act of 1976 (last amended in 2002) and the Trade Marks Regulations of 1997 (last amended in 2011). The Act modeled along the acts of some industrialized countries provides effective and adequate protection for registered trademarks in Malaysia.
  The Act provides protection for registered trademarks and service marks in Malaysia. Although in some countries and in some situations a mark may be protected without registration, it is generally necessary for effective protection that a mark be registered in a government office. If a trademark is registered, no person or enterprise other than its owner or authorized users may use it.
  As for patents, while local applicants may file applications on their own, foreign applicants have to file through authorized trademark agents. The period of protection is 10 years, renewable for consecutive periods of 10 years thereafter. The proprietor of the trademark or service mark has the right to deal or assign, as well as to license its use.
Industrial Design
  Industrial design protection in Malaysia is governed by the Industrial Designs Act of 1996 and Industrial Designs Regulations of 1999. The Act provides that registered industrial design rights are personal property capable of assignment and transmission by operation of law.
  To be eligible for registration, industrial designs must be new and not include a method of construction or design that is dictated solely by function. In addition, the design of the article must not be dependent upon the appearance of another article of which it forms an integral part. Registered industrial designs are protected for an initial period of 5 years, which may be extended for another two 5-year terms, providing a total protection period of 15 years.
  Copyright protection in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act of 1987 which provides comprehensive protection for copyrightable works. The Act outlines the nature of works eligible for copyrights (which includes computer software), the scope of protection, and the manner in which the protection is accorded. There is no registration of copyright works.
  A unique feature of the Act is the inclusion of provisions for its enforcement. A special team of officers is appointed to enforce the Act. They have the power to enter premises suspected of having infringing copies and to search and seize infringing copies and contrivances. They also have the power to arrest without a warrant.
  Malaysia is a signatory of the Berne Convention. Foreign works of non-Berne member countries are also protected if they are made in Malaysia and are published in Malaysia within 30 days of their first publication in the country of origin.
  Copyright protection in literary, musical or artistic works is for the duration of the life of the author, plus 50 years after his death. In sound recordings, broadcasts and films, copyright protection is for 50 years after the works are first published or made.
Source: International IP Law Firms 2016
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