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Patent registration in Malaysia

Patent registration is a vital step for inventors and innovators looking to protect their intellectual property in Malaysia. Currently, the Malaysian economy is developing rapidly, facilitating creative and innovative activities, so the number of patent applications in Malaysia has increased steadily in recent years. According to data from the Intellectual Property Office of Malaysia (MyIPO), in 2021, Malaysia received 11,120 patent applications, an increase of 14.5% compared to 2020. This trend shows that more and more businesses and individuals in Malaysia are aware of the importance of patent protection for their patents. In 2022, Malaysia received 12,675 patent applications. This is up 14% from 2021 and marks the highest ever. The trend of increasing the number of patent applications will continue in 2023. In the first five quarters of 2023, Malaysia received 3,381 patent applications, up 8.2 per cent from the same period in 2022. The sectors with the most patent applications in Malaysia include electronics, computers, chemistry, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. This reflects the strong development of these industries in the Malaysian economy. In addition, Malaysia has also seen an increase in the number of patent applications from abroad. This shows that Malaysia is becoming an attractive destination for international inventors. The Malaysian government has implemented many policies that encourage patent protection, such as reducing registration fees and providing financial support to inventors. Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily the procedure for patent registration in Malaysia through the article below.

Patent registration in Malaysia

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    Legal basis

    • Patent Law 1983 (No. 291, amended to Decree A1264)

    Definition of patent in Malaysia

    In Malaysia, an patent is defined as an exclusive right granted by the government to  the owner of an patent. This monopoly gives owners control over some aspects of their patent for a certain period of time, usually 20 years.

    • Patent: The patent must be new, innovative and have industrial applications.
      • New: The patent was not publicly disclosed anywhere in the world prior to the filing of a patent application.
      • Be creative: It is not something that a person with knowledge and experience in the relevant technical field would take for granted.
      • Industrial Application: The patent must be capable of being produced or used in industry.
    • Exclusive rights: Patents give the owner rights.
      • Invented production
      • Use of patents
      • Semi-patent
      • Import patents

    Type of patent in Malaysia

    In Malaysia, there are technically two main types of patents that can be applied for protection, but they fall under the same legal framework under the Patent Law 1983 as follows:

    Standard Patents

    This is the most comprehensive form of protection and requires the patent to meet three main criteria:

    • Novelty: The patent must be completely new and not yet publicly published anywhere in the world before filing a patent application.
    • Creative Step: It cannot be obvious to someone with ordinary knowledge and experience in the relevant technical field.
    • Industrial applicability: The patent must be capable of being produced or used in industry
    • The standard patent is valid for 20 years from the date of filing.

    Certificate of Innovation Initiative (CUI)

    This form provides a simpler and faster form of protection for patents that meet two criteria of a standard patent:

    • Novelty: Similar to standard patents.
    • Industrial applicability: Similar to standard patents.

    However, CUI does not require the patent to demonstrate innovative progress. This means that the patent can be something that someone with relevant knowledge would take for granted, but still bring a certain level of novelty and industrial application. Therefore, the CUI provides a shorter period of protection, usually lasting 10 years from the date of application.

    Patent lookup in Malaysia

    Official portal of the Intellectual Property Office of Malaysia (MyIPO)

    This is the official website of the government on intellectual property (IP) in Malaysia that provides a free patent search function: https://www.myipo.gov.my/en/search-patent/. Applicants can search by a variety of criteria, including:

    • Patent Number
    • Name of inventor
    • Name of authorized person (patent owner)

    Espacenet

    This is a free patent database from the European Patent Office (EPO) that includes patents from many countries including Malaysia. While not directly affiliated with MyIPO, Espacenet can easily seek patents: https://www.epo.org/en/searching-for-patents Note: Espacenet’s search scope for Malaysia may not include the latest patents (as of May 2024).

    Patent application in Malaysia

    • Patent application: This form can be downloaded from the website of the Intellectual Property Office of Malaysia (MyIPO). The application form usually asks for details about the applicant, inventor, and patent information.
    • Detailed description of the patent: This document should clearly explain the technical features, functions and advantages of the patent.
    • Claims: These requirements determine the scope of protection that the applicant wants for his patent.

    Additional documents (may require):

    • Drawings or illustrations: These images visually represent the patent and can be helpful in understanding its technical details.
    • Patent Statement: This document identifies the inventor (inventors) of the patent.
    • Receipt of payment of filing fee: The fee associated with filing a patent application.

    For Foreign Applicants:

    • Intellectual Property Representation in Malaysia: Foreign applicants are usually required to apply through a registered representative in Cambodia to handle the application process. This representative can assist in navigating legal, translation and exchange issues with MyIPO.
    • Priority Document (if applicable): If the applicant has filed a patent application for the same patent in another country and wishes to claim priority based on the previous filing date, the applicant will need to submit a certified copy of the priority document.

    Patent registration in Malaysia through PCT system

    The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international system that allows an applicant to file a single international patent application for protection in multiple countries. Here’s how an applicant can apply for a patent through the PCT system:

    Eligibility for registration

    • The PCT system is open to citizens and residents of all member states, including Malaysia.
    • An applicant may also apply for a PCT if the applicant is not a resident or citizen of a member state, but whose inventor is a resident or citizen of the member state.

    Application processing process

    • Filing: The applicant files a single international patent application with a national or regional patent office (acting as the Receiving Office) or directly with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) within one year from the date of the first country filing.
    • International Search: WIPO conducts an international search to identify relevant prior patents (existing patents) that may affect the applicant’s patent application. This search report helps the applicant assess the patentability of his patent.
    • Disclosure: WIPO publishes an applicant’s international application 18 months after the filing date or priority date (first country filing date), whichever is later. This makes the applicant’s patent public.
    • National stage: The applicant has 30 months from the priority date to enter the “national stage” by filing a patent application in any PCT member state in which the applicant wishes to seek patent protection. Each national office then conducts its own due diligence process to determine whether a patent is granted.

    Benefits of using a PCT system

    • Simplified Process: The applicant files a single application and delays the national filing for up to 30 months, giving the applicant time to assess patentability and secure funding.
    • Cost savings: Filing fees are generally lower than filing separate national patent applications initially.
    • Focused Search: The International Search report provides valuable insights into the patentability of an applicant’s patent.

    Patent registration service in Malaysia of Viet An Law Firm

    • Carry out the search and notify customers in writing the results of patent search in Malaysia;
    • Draft the dossier and directly file and monitor the status of the filing of the patent application in Malaysia on behalf of the patent owner;
    • Inform, advise and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring patent applications in Malaysia;
    • Support monitoring, representing the resolution of objections and feedback with intellectual property representatives to carry out procedures in Malaysia.
    • Receive dispatches, certificates and hand over to customers (if any).

    If you need to file a patent application in Malaysia, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the most effective support.

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