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What is Intellectual Property ?Willy1Business are not only concerned with real property such as land and chattels. Incorporeal property such as intellectual property may be of great concern to certain businesses and many individuals and corporations.2This area of law is sometimes also known as the law of industrial property. Patents, trade marks, confidential information, plant variety, geographical indication and industrial designs were once considered distinct from copyright becaus


What is Intellectual Property ?



Business are not only concerned with real property such as land and chattels. Incorporeal property such as intellectual property may be of great concern to certain businesses and many individuals and corporations.


This area of law is sometimes also known as the law of industrial property. Patents, trade marks, confidential information, plant variety, geographical indication and industrial designs were once considered distinct from copyright because they all have a clear and direct connection with trade and commerce. In contrast, copyright relates to such things as literary, musical and artistic works, which may not necessarily relate to trade and commerce. This whole area of property rights is often simply referred to as intellectual property.


In short, intellectual or industrial property comprises:1. Copyright 2. Design 3. Patent 4. Trademarks 5. Confidential Information 6. Plant Variety 7. Geographical Indication


Intellectual property holds the key to the future. Of foremost importance is the preservation and advancement of the standards for the protection of intellectual property.

Intellectual property awareness in Malaysia; only 20 % of IP rights such as in patent, trade marks are owned by Malaysian. Balance of 80 % are owned by foreigners.


As Peter Drucker, author of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, says, with intellectual property protection, (i)nnovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurshipthe act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth for all.


Strong patent laws provide incentives for new inventions that create wealth in the market place. For example, the United States Supreme Court clarified that living things are patentable under U.S. law in 1980. Since that time, the biotechnology industry in the United States has experienced tremendous growth and has brought countless, life saving inventions onto the market. Today, the United States leads the biotechnology industry with more than 1,500 biotech companies employing more than 900,000 people with salaries that average more than $60,000 per year.


COPYRIGHT The Copyright Act 1987 provides comprehensive protection for copyrightable works. The Act outlines the nature of works eligible for copyright (which includes computer software), the scope of protection, and the manner in which the protection is accorded. There is no registration of copyright works. Copyright protection in literary, musical or artistic works is for the duration of the life of the author and 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.


Section 7(1) of the Copyright Act 1987 provides for works eligible for copyright are : (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) literary works; musical works; artistic works; films; sound recordings; and broadcasts.


PATENTS The Patents Act 1983 and the Patents Regulations 1996 govern patent protection in Malaysia. An applicant may file a patent application directly if he is domicile or resident in Malaysia. A foreign application can only be filed through a registered patent agent in Malaysia acting on behalf of the applicant. Similar to legislations in other countries, an invention is patentable if it is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. In accordance with TRIPS, the Patent Act stipulates a protection period of 20 years from the date of filing of an application. Under the Act, the utility innovation certificate provides for an initial duration of ten years protection from the date of filing of the application. 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. Issues of patent valuation and exploitation are gaining in importance in the public and private sectors and will benefit from continued exchanges among stakeholders from business, government and academia.10

Efforts are needed to make the contribution of patents to economic value more visible. As patents are more frequently used as vehicles for transferring information to markets, investors and customers seek reliable and valid information regarding patent value upon which to base decisions. Companies also need reliable information in order to better manage their patent portfolios. To date, accounting and tax practices have not kept pace, and few companies report on the value of their patents.


TRADE MARKS 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. Once registered, no person or enterprise other than its proprietor or authorised users may use them. Infringement action can be initiated against abusers. The period of protection is ten years, renewable for a period of every ten years thereafter. The proprietor of the trade mark or service mark has the right to deal or assign as well as to license its use. In accordance with TRIPS, Malaysia prohibits the registration of well-known trade marks by unauthorised persons and provides for border measures to prohibit counterfeit trade marks from being imported into Indonesia


What does a trademark do? A trademark provides protection to the owner of the mark by ensuring the exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services, or to authorize another to use it in return for payment. The period of protection varies, but a trademark can be renewed indefinitely beyond the time limit on payment of additional fees. Trademark protection is enforced by the courts, which in most systems have the authority to block trademark infringement. In a larger sense, trademarks promote initiative and enterprise worldwide by rewarding the owners of trademarks with recognition and financial profit. Trademark protection also hinders the efforts of unfair competitors, such as counterfeiters, to use similar distinctive signs to market inferior or different products or services. The system enables people with skill and enterprise to produce and market goods and services in the fairest possible conditions, thereby facilitating international trade.


INDUSTRIAL DESIGN Industrial design protection in Malaysia is governed by the Industrial Designs Act 1996 and Industrial Designs Regulations 1999. The Act provides the rights of registered industrial designs as that of a personal property capable of assignment and transmission by operation of the law. To be eligible for registration, industrial designs must be new and do not include a method of construction or design that is dictated solely by function. In addition, the design of the article ust not be dependent upon the appearance of another article of which it forms an integral part. Local applicants can file registrations individually or through a registered industrial designs agent. However, foreign applicants will need to seek the services of a registered industrial designs agent. Registered industrial designs are protected for an initial period of five years which may be extended for another two 5-year terms, providing a total protection period of 15 years.


Why protect industrial designs? Industrial designs are what make an article attractive and appealing; hence, they add to the commercial value of a product and increase its marketability. When an industrial design is protected, the owner - the person or entity that has registered the design - is assured an exclusive right against unauthorized copying or imitation of the design by third parties. This helps to ensure a fair return on investment. An effective system of protection also benefits consumers and the public at large, by promoting fair competition and honest trade practices, encouraging creativity, and promoting more aesthetically attractive products.


Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Act 2000 which gives protection similar to copyright and patent right in respect to original circuit layouts for integrated circuit. These right are electronic layouts (EL) rights. The person who first makes an eligible layout is the owner unless he or she did so as an employee, in which case the owner is the employer. The owner of EL rights has the exclusive right to copy, manufacture or to exploit the layout commercially.


GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION The Geographical Indications Act 2000 provides protection upon registration to goods following the name of the place where the goods are produced. This protection is applicable to goods such as wine, agricultural products and handicraft. Geographical indications which are contrary to public order or morality shall not be protected under the Act. Actions, penalties and remedies concerning infringement of geographical indications are similar to those applicable for trade marks.


What is a geographical indication? A geographical indication is a sign used on goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin. Most commonly, a geographical indication includes the name of the place of origin of the goods. Agricultural products typically have qualities that derive from their place of production and are influenced by specific local factors, such as climate and soil. Whether a sign is recognized as a geographical indication is a matter of national law. Geographical indications may be used for a wide variety of products, whether natural, agricultural or manufactured.


Confidential Information: Data Protection Principles Fairly and lawfully processed. Processed for limited purposes. Adequate, relevant and not e


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