National IP policy in the pipeline


In tandem with current market trends - where institutions and businesses are placing an increased emphasis on the value, management and protection of intellectual property - the government of Malaysia has put into motion plans to formulate a national IP policy that seeks to make intellectual property a national asset and key instrument for economic growth.

At the launch of the Help Desk and Patent and Trademark Administration System of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) on December 19 2006, Malaysian Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal announced that the Malaysian National Intellectual Property Policy would be initiated in 2007 and implemented in three phases until 2012. This process would involve broad consultations with government agencies, private industrial and banking sectors, higher learning and research institutions as well as non-government organizations.

It is anticipated that the policy, once implemented, would enhance Malaysia's competitive edge in the knowledge economy, draw foreign investors into the country and create a host of job opportunities. The policy also aims at educating the general public as to the significance of intellectual property.

At this time, details of the policy are still largely confidential. However, sources from MyIPO expect that the policy may provide guidance in recognizing intellectual property as economic and/or accounting assets capable of being used as collaterals. The first draft of the policy is expected to be made public by mid-2007 after it has been tabled to cabinet members.

Patricia Woo, Skrine, Kuala Lumpur

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