Intellectual property protection in Malaysia comprises of patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, 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 which govern these intellectual property rights.
In addition, Malaysia is also a signatory to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) signed under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Malaysia provides adequate protection to both local and foreign investors. Malaysia’s intellectual property laws are in conformance with international standards and have been reviewed by the TRIPs Council periodically.
Malaysia protects and governs Patent laws through Patents Act 1983 and the Patents Regulations 1986. According to these statutes, An applicant may file a patent application directly if he is domicile or resident in Malaysia.
Laws on Patent is similar to legislations of other jurisdictions, and is in compliance of TRIPS, the Patents Act stipulates a protection period of 20 years from the date of filing of an application. In accordance to the law, the owner of a patent has the right to exploit the patented invention, to assign or transmit the patent, and to conclude a licensed contract.
The Government can prohibit commercial exploitation of patents for reasons of public order or morality. The Act was amended to include provision for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and to allow importation under the scope of compulsory license.
Malaysia has acceded to the PCT in the year 2006 and effective from 16 August 2006, the PCT, which has enabled Malaysia to incorporate provisions for compulsory Licensing.
Trade mark protection is governed by the Trade Marks Act 1976 and the Trade Marks Regulations 1997.
The Act provides protection for registered trade marks and service marks in Malaysia. The proprietor of the trade mark or service mark has the right to deal or assign as well as to license its use.
Malaysia in compliance of TRIPS, prohibits registration of well-known marks by any third party (unauthorized user). It also prohibits importation of counterfeit of trade marks.