Region: Malaysia

IP courts operational soon

The Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Shafie Apdal, has announced that specialist IP courts are expected to be operational by the end of July 2007. There will be 15 Sessions Courts set up to hear criminal prosecutions involving IP issues and six High Courts will be granted special status in states with the highest number of IP rights infringements.

10 July 2007

Malaysia announces ambitious plans for new IP regime

The Malaysian government has launched its ambitious National Intellectual Property Policy which aims to, among other things, harness intellectual property as a new engine of growth for the enhancement of economic and social prosperity. One of the key measures to be introduced by the policy is the creation of a special Intellectual Property Court to expedite the disposal of IP-related cases.

01 June 2007

Deadline for fast-track approval missed

Malaysia and the United States have both missed the March 31 2007 deadline to submit a bilateral Free Trade Agreement to the US Congress which would have allowed for fast-track approval. Issues surrounding the protection of IP rights are thought to be a major stumbling block, but talks are expected to resume shortly.

17 April 2007

Court spins out yarn passing off decision for 16 years

The High Court has finally issued a decision in the case of <i>Dollfus-Mieg & Cie v Macy Sdn Bhd</i>, 16 years after the close of the trial. After having heard from a total of 30 witnesses, the court ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to prove their claim of passing off against the defendants. However, despite the length of time taken to come to a decision, no grounds of judgment were given by the court.

05 April 2007

National IP policy in the pipeline

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. The first draft of the policy is expected to be made public by mid-2007 after it has been tabled to cabinet members.

25 January 2007

McDonald's turns up the heat on MCCURRY

An Indian curry house located in Kuala Lumpur, trading under the mark MCCURRY, has lost a five-year legal tussle with US fast-food restaurant chain operator McDonald's Corporation. The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered McCurry Restaurant to stop using immediately the prefix 'Mc', which it held to be distinctive of McDonald's.

20 October 2006

High Court varies UBS trademark registration

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has ordered that the mark UBS held by UBS Corporation Berhad revert to its original form, which included a geometrical device and the words 'User Business System'. The application for expungement or variation had been filed by UBS AG, a global banking group, which claims rights in the UBS mark.

17 October 2006

BOSS marks for cigarettes burnt off register

Following an application for cancellation by fashion company Hugo Boss AG, the High Court has ordered the expungement of several marks that incorporate the word 'boss' for cigarettes. The court found that as the marks had not been used in relation to the goods for which they were registered, they were invalid under Section 55(2) of the Trademarks Act 1976.

03 October 2006

Bata powerless to cancel SPORTS POWER mark

The Court of Appeal of Malaysia has dismissed an appeal brought by a well-known shoe manufacturer, which owns a POWER device mark, in relation to its action to expunge a SPORTS POWER device mark used for socks and underwear. In concluding that there was no likelihood of confusion, the court emphasized that the trade channels of the two parties' goods are different.

21 September 2006

First landlord liability action filed in IP case

Malaysia has witnessed the filing of the first local landlord liability suit in an IP infringement case. While the case concerns the sale of pirated optical discs that infringe copyrights, its outcome should be monitored by mark owners whose goods are regular targets for counterfeiters; landlord liability actions may become a course of action for them too in Malaysia.

13 July 2006

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