There are many forms of protection available for intellectual property rights under Malaysian law, often consistent with international standards and obligations. In 1988, Malaysia acceded to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. In accordance with the ASEAN Economic Community (“AEC”) initiative by ASEAN member states to establish a single unified ASEAN market by the end of 2015, Malaysia has agreed to integrate its intellectual property system to comply with the Madrid Protocol to the Agreement on the International Registration of Marks (” “Madrid Protocol”) and the Patent Cooperation Agreement (“Patent Cooperation Agreement”).
Intellectual Property Laws in Malaysia
The Patents Act, 1983 (the “Patents Act”) provides protection for registered patents. In Malaysia, patent protection can be obtained by registering an invention or utility model. A patent expires 20 years after the date of its application, while the initial term of protection for a utility model is 10 years after the date of filing of the application. The initial period of ten years can be extended twice, each time by five years, but the patentee must show that the relevant utility model is being used commercially or industrially in Malaysia, or satisfactorily explain why it is not being used. Please note that in order for a patent or certificate to be valid, an annual fee must be paid annually. On May 16, 2006, Malaysia acceded to the Patent Cooperation Agreement, which came into effect in Malaysia on August 16, 2006. In addition, Malaysia has also implemented plans to speed up the patent processing process, such as the patent fast track operation with the Japan Patent Office and the European Patent Office and the ASEAN patent examination cooperation project.
Computer programs and computer program compilations are protected by the Copyright Act 1987 (the “Copyright Act”). In addition, Malaysia acceded to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the “Berne Convention”) on June 28, 1990, and further promulgated a number of regulations to extend copyright protection in Malaysia to certain products under the “Berne Convention”. Berne Convention: Works first published by other member states and works created by nationals of member states of the Berne Convention. It is worth noting that the Copyright Law has been recently revised, adding new safe harbor provisions for Internet service providers, a voluntary copyright registration system and other provisions, and expanding the scope of fair dealing exceptions (previously this scope was extremely limited).
The Industrial Designs Act 1996 provides protection for registered industrial designs in Malaysia, as amended by the Industrial Designs (Amendment) Act 2013 (the “Amendment Act”), which came into force on 1 July 2013. Take effect. The first major amendment introduced in the Amendment Act is the expansion of the concept of novelty to “worldwide novelty”, so that prior artistic works that previously existed outside Malaysia can become valid prior artistic works. Secondly, the maximum protection period for registered industrial designs is now 25 years from the date of filing of the application. After the expiration of the initial period of 5 years, up to four extensions of 5 years each may be sought. Furthermore, in line with recent government actions to encourage the use of intellectual property as security collateral, the amendments expressly provide that registered industrial designs shall be treated as movables and may be assigned and transferred by the operation of law in the same manner as other movables and processing, including becoming the subject of a security interest.
In Malaysia, trademarks and service marks may also be registered under the Trademarks Act 1976 (the “Trademarks Act”). Please note, however, that the registration process can be lengthy as amendments or objections may arise. Registrations issued after December 1, 1997 have an initial term of 10 years from the date of application and may be renewed in subsequent 10-year instalments. It is expected that a new Trademarks Bill will be tabled for discussion in 2018 to allow Malaysia to recognize its obligations under the Madrid Protocol.
In addition to the protection provided by the Trade Marks Act, common law proceedings for breach of confidentiality are also available under the laws of confidentiality and passing off.
The New Plant Species Protection Law of 2004 (the “New Plant Species Protection Law”) came into effect on January 1, 2007. The Law aims to protect the rights of breeders of new plant species, recognize and protect farmers, local Contributions of the masses and indigenous peoples in creating new plant species in Malaysia. The New Plant Species Protection Law is different from other intellectual property laws in that it introduces its own unique new registration system – the Plant Species Committee. The Commission issues registration certificates for new plant species and grants breeder rights to applicants. The New Plant Species Protection Law aims to encourage the public and private sectors to develop and invest in the cultivation of new plant species. Since Malaysia’s Patents Act 1983 excludes plant and animal species from being patentable, only the New Plant Species Protection Act provides protection for new plant species. Therefore, the introduction of this law is welcomed as an advancement in the field of plant biotechnology in Malaysia.
The Optical Disc Law of 2000 was enacted to deal with the piracy and copying of copyright works (mainly software, movies and music) in the form of optical discs (such as VCDs, DVDs, CD-ROMS and CDs). The law also regulates the production of compact discs and requires manufacturers to hold a license.
In line with Malaysia’s obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), integrated circuit layout-designs are now eligible for Integrated Circuit Layout-designs under the 2000 Integrated Circuit Layout on the basis of their originality, the creator’s own invention and the fact that the work was voluntarily created. protection under the Circuit Layout Design Act.
地理标识受 2000 年《地理标识法》的保护。