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Malaysia Acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)

With a backdrop of 1.2 million international patent applications covering various technologies have been filed since the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) began operating in 1978, Malaysia has finally acceded to become the 131st State to be a member o the PCT. It deposited its instrument of accession to the PCT on 16th May 2006.

PCT will enter into force in Malaysia on 16th August 2006 and all international applications filed on or after 16th August 2006 will automatically designate Malaysia. In order to file an international application at the Malaysian Patent Registration Office as the Receiving Office, the applicant or one of the applicants must be a national or a resident of Malaysia as of 16th August 2006. The application can be filed either in Bahasa Malaysia (the national language) or English and shall be accompanied with the prescribed forms and fees.

The said instrument of accession contains a declaration that, pursuant to Article 64(5) of the PCT, Malaysia does not consider itself bound by Article 59 of the PCT. Article 59 of the PCT says that “subject to Article 64(5), any dispute between two or more Contracting States concerning the interpretation or application of this Treaty or the Regulations, not settled by negotiation, may, by any one of the States concerned, be brought before the International Court of Justice by application in conformity with the Statute of the Court, unless the States concerned agree on some other method of settlement. The Contracting State bringing the dispute before the Court shall inform the International Bureau; the International Bureau shall bring the matter to the attention of the other Contracting States”.

Malaysia elected by Chapter II of the Treaty and will automatically be elected in any demand for international preliminary examination filed in respect of an international application filed on or after 16th August 2006. All international applications are subjected to an international search. Malaysia appointed European Patent Office, Australia and South Korea as the International Searching Authority (ISA) and the applicant must elect one of them as its preferred ISA to conduct the international preliminary examination. The Patent Registration Office can also act as an elected office if the applicant selects Malaysia as a State in which he intends to use the results of the international preliminary examination.

The deadline to enter national phase shall be before the expiration of thirty months from the filing date of the international application, or if a priority was claimed, before the expiration of thirty months from the priority date.