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Malaysia’s IP Laws To Be Revamped

Due to the recent debates over the rights of IP owners and public discontent, the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) has reviewed the Intellectual Property Laws of Malaysia and will soon be implementing amendments to resolve matters. The review and amendments will affect the Copyright Act, Trade Marks Act, Patents Act and Industrial Design Act as well as the Layout Design of Integrated Circuits Act and the Geographical Indication Act. Major amendments will include:

  • Creating exceptions to copyright infringements for the visually impaired and physically challenged, enabling the Education Ministry and publishers to publish books in Braille and audio books;
  • Protecting internet service providers (ISPs) through a limitation of their liability in which, when an ISP is carrying infringing material, the copyright owner informs the ISP, who then removes the infringing material;
  • Extending the jurisdiction of the copyright tribunal to resemble that of the Consumer Claims Tribunals;
  • Amending the outdated Trade Marks Act 1976,which was based on the United Kingdom Trade Marks Act 1938, to allow registration of non-traditional trade marks such as sounds, smell and motion; and extending the Patents Act to include clearer provisions on biotechnology and creating a deposit library for microorganism so that when a microorganism patent expires, the sample deposited in the library will be made available to the public for cultivation.

In addition to amending the IP Laws, a digital library will soon be set up to monitor protection of patents granted to traditional knowledge and genetic resources. Malaysia tries to continuously update its IP platform to ensure that public is not ignored while not compromising the rights awarded to the IP owners.

All of the above mentioned changes were announced by the deputy director-general of MyIPO, associate professor Rohazar Wati Zuallcobley, at a recent event.