Malaysia creates new corporation to manage IP rights

Malaysia

The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia Act 2002 has come into effect. The act establishes a statutory body called the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, which has been granted the power to manage Malaysian intellectual property (IP) rights and laws. It is hoped that such rights will be managed more efficiently and in compliance with international standards as a result.

Under the previous system, IP matters, notably the registration of trademarks and geographical indications, were managed by the Intellectual Property Unit, under the purview of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. However, because of the effects that globalization and the liberalization of trade have had on IP rights, the Malaysian government felt it was necessary to create a new body responsible for improving the protection and management of IP rights in Malaysia.

The corporation's chief functions under the new act are to administer, enforce, review and update Malaysian IP law. Statutes that fall under the corporation's control include, among others, the Trademarks Act 1976 and the Geographical Indications Act 2000. These acts have been amended accordingly. To aid in the administration of these acts, the director general of the corporation has been appointed to the positions of, among others, the registrar of trademarks and registrar of geographical indications.

In addition, the corporation is required to help increase awareness of IP issues, through the creation of training and cooperation programmes. It must also act as an adviser to the Malaysian government and specifically any minister responsible for IP matters.

Suaran Singh Sidhu, Skrine, Kuala Lumpur

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