Thursday, September 20, 2018

China-ASEAN Trademark and Brand Forum in Nanning

The year 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN Expo, and the first China-ASEAN Innovation Year. The event, held on September 13 in Nanning, was jointly sponsored by the State Administration for Market Regulation, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The theme of the forum is “Trademark, Brand Strategy and Economic Development”. 300 participants, including the heads of relevant government agencies from 9 ASEAN countries, representatives of non-governmental organizations, experts and scholars, relevant national ministries and commissions, heads of industrial and commercial bureaus of some provinces (municipalities, districts, and Municipalities with Independent Planning Status under the National Social and Economic Development) of China, well-known domestic economists and entrepreneurs, etc., officially gathered in the Green City.

Chong highlights few points to improve IP system at forum

Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen highlighted several important points in order to improve on Malaysia’s intellectual property (IP) system such as the proposed amendment to the Trademark Act 1976 at the recent China Asean Trademark & Brand Forum held in Nanning, China.

He said in a press release that the improvement will enable Malaysia to accede to the Madrid Protocol that will benefit us economically by enhancing confidence among foreign investors of the country’s business environment.

Chong also emphasised the country’s commitment to set up a proper and transparent criteria for IP valuation in order to recognise IP asset value as collateral.

The forum was hosted by the government of China in collaboration with the State Market Regulatory Administration (SMRA) and the People’s Government of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Several ministerial-level participants from Asean countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand also attended the discussion.

The main objective of the event was to discuss and exchange ideas pertaining to trademark and intellectual property development between Asean countries for the benefit of the regional grouping.
China’s huge achievements in trademark applications filed in recent years had inspired Malaysia to strengthen collaborative effort with the economic giant in implementing more activities and programmes that can enhance understanding of trademark laws and protection requirements within the business community in both countries. - Borneo Post

Friday, September 14, 2018

Product, brand need to be supported by good leadership — Saifuddin Nasution

Every new product or brand should be supported by good leadership to ensure its resilience to withstand competition against other global products, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

He said history had shown that many companies listed in the Fortune 500 in the past failed to maintain their momentum and competitiveness and eventually disappeared.

“In Malaysia, we have MEC, Satay Ria, Mega TV, Metro TV, but they are no more in existence.They did start with innovation, then disappeared.

“Innovations need to be supported by good leadership that can guarantee the model and to elevate the idea so that it can turn into something lucrative,” he said at the award presentation of the 13th National Intellectual Property Awards 2018, organised by the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) here yesterday.

He also said the country was on the right track to become a developed nation based on intellectual property (IP) ownership and increased trademark applications.

In 2017, a total of 50,188 IP applications were filed in Malaysia with an increase of 4.3 per cent compared to the previous year.

He said of the total, 39,736 IP were registered, an increase of 4.4 per cent compared to the previous year, and 35 per cent of them were owned by Malaysians.

“Although the number is still far below the foreign ownership, based on the upward trend of applications every year, I believe we can still achieve the target of 50 per cent if we can continue the momentum in producing intellectual property with the government support,” he said.

At the award presentation yesterday, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) bagged the gold award for the Best IP Management category and took home a cash prize of RM30,000, a championship trophy, an accompanying trophy and a certificate of appreciation.

Apart from UPM that bagged its second gold award for Patent category, other gold winners of five more categories contested were Hipster Pomade (for Trade Mark); D Athirah Enterprise (Industrial Design); Universiti Teknologi Mara (Copyright); Pusat Latihan Teknologi Tinggi Batu Pahat, Johor (Young Inventor of IP for skill training institute students) and Mara Junior Science College, Jeli, Kelantan (Young Inventor of IP for secondary school students). — Bernama

Friday, August 10, 2018

Parting Words of Dato Shamsiah, Former DG MyIPO

Picture by MyIPO

MyIPO bid farewell to Dato Shamsiah Kamaruddin, Director General of MyIPO who served up to 25 years in the organization until her retirement. A farewell was organized on 26 July 2018.

MyIPO was incorporated in 2003 as a government agency so that it can efficiently manage financial and human resources to run programs that encourage the growth of intellectual property in the country. This year is the 15th anniversary of MyIPO. In an interview conducted by Utusan Melayu published on 5 Mar 2018, she shared her experience in running the organization.

"For 15 years, we experience growth of intellectual property applications up to 125%. As a form of  appreciation for local innovation, MyIPO organized National IP Award ceremony annually since 2006. Through this award, our country produced more local innovators including those that are acknowledged internationally," shared Dato Shamsiah as her biggest achievement.

She also mentioned that through governments efforts, Malaysia was removed from USTR Priority Watchlist in 2012. Other than that, MyIPO has established cooperation with ASEAN countries as ASEAN Working Froup in Intellectual Property Co-operation (AWGIPC) to modernize intellectual property development in ASEAN.

Dato Shamsiah said that MyIPO acts as a guardian of intellectual property in Malaysia. The laws of intellectual property in Malaysia is in line with international intellectual property laws such as Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty, WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performaces and Phonograms Treaty. She also said that MyIPO conducts law review to improve and hasten intellectual property protection.

She wishes that MyIPO continually improve the National IP policy launched in 2007 through international cooperation by harmonizing procedures and regulations in intellectual property registration.

The full interview in Utusan Melayu

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Patent Cooperation Treaty at 40

Today inventors around the world have access to a system, known as the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which offers a cost-effective way to seek patent protection for their high-value technologies in multiple countries. That system, which has just celebrated its 40th year of operation, has become an essential component of the international patent system.

The PCT offers users a number of advantages. In particular, applicants can postpone decisions about the countries in which they want to seek patent protection, and the significant associated costs, by up to 18 months longer than under the traditional patent system. They can also benefit from valuable feedback about the potential patentability of their inventions; at present, 22 patent offices that serve as International Searching Authorities partner with WIPO to provide users with such feedback. This additional time and feedback creates opportunities for applicants to continue the technical development of their invention, test the market for it and, if necessary, find business partners and secure financing.
The PCT also offers national and regional patent offices a number of advantages, in particular, by providing them with the same value-added information on the potential patentability of an invention as provided to applicants, and by freeing those offices from having to evaluate the formal aspects of the application. In this way, the PCT process facilitates decision-making and can increase confidence in the quality of the patents if ultimately granted.
“WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty is a cornerstone of our IP business,” notes Alexander Kurz, Executive Vice President for Human Resources, Legal Affairs and Intellectual Property Management, Fraunhofer, Europe’s largest applied research organization. “It provides a great deal of legal security and gives us additional time to find the optimal commercial partner and the most appropriate market for our inventions. It is an excellent way to establish IP rights internationally. That’s why we use it,” he says.
At its core, the PCT addresses two very real needs and this is the key to its remarkable success. On the one hand, it offers applicants a practical tool to assist them in seeking patent protection in international markets. And on the other hand, for the patent offices of PCT member countries, it serves as an effective work-sharing platform and creates opportunities to generate efficiency gains in processing international patent applications.
The partnership of national and regional patent offices of PCT member countries has also been central to the PCT’s success. Their engagement, insights and experiences, along with feedback from users, has enabled the system to evolve and respond to practical real-world needs. That, coupled with a dedicated international team of support staff, both at WIPO’s headquarters and within the patent offices of member countries, has made it possible for the PCT to become recognized as a reliable and high-quality service provider. - WIPO Magazine

Call for review of (IP) tax incentives

SMART Glove Corp Sdn Bhd, one of the pioneer manufacturers of nitrile medical gloves, says the government should review current tax incentives to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights.
“We urge the government to consider tax incentives for manufacturers to register patents because the process to protect IP rights can be time consuming and costly,” said Smart Glove executive chairman Foo Khon Pu.
“I believe this is one of the key reasons why a lot of research and innovation is not commercialised. There is no specific tax incentive in Malaysia for registering IP protection on a worldwide basis,” he said.
“There is also no government funding for commercialisation of research in pilot testings and clinical trials,” he told NSTP business in an interview recently.
Foo said at the moment the pioneer status for manufacturers is only for promoted products.
“It doesn’t incentivise manufacturers to invest in a new product if it is not classified as a promoted product. Currently, nitrile gloves are not considered as promoted products,” he said.
“It is a long and winding process to bring an idea to the drawing board and eventually commercialise it. It’s costly because experimentation involves heavy upfront investments,” he said.
“When glove manufacturers develop products such as gloves, specifically for chemotherapy sessions and anti-microbial gloves, they are not accorded tax incentives unless accepted as promoted products,” said Foo.
Smart Glove’s production capacity is at five billion pieces of nitrile medical gloves per year, and is set to hit 7.5 billion by next year.
“We ’re investing heavily, as much as RM150 million in autostripping and robotics packing that involves precision engineering to produce an additional 2.5 billion pieces per annum,” he said.
Foo said as the medical glove industry moves upthe value chain, manufacturers will have to “sell better and not just sell more”.
“We were able to survive against the big players because we differentiated ourselves as we produce specialty gloves.
“The premium-priced gloves are customised to clients’ needs. We have to constantly innovate to stay ahead of the competition,” he said.
In July 2007, United States firm Tillotson filed complaints, alleging that more than 200 companies were importing and selling nitrile gloves in the US that infringed on the company’s patent.
Smart Glove and US-based Henry Schein challenged Tillotson nitrile glove litigation in the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and subsequent appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Since the dispute concerned nitrile glove exports, other glovemakers in Malaysia also participated to challenge Tillots on’s patent infringement allegation.
The administrative law judge in ITC concluded that when Tillotson amended the claims through a reissue application, filed more than two years after the grant of the original patent, it improperly enlarged the scope of the claims, rendering the patent invalid.
“Tillotson sought to overturn the decision. As the case went up to the Supreme Court, our anxiety levels went up, too. We pressed on because we had no other choice. We had come so far, we cannot turn back,” said Foo.
“It was just me, my lawyers from the US and Malaysia, slugging it out at the courts in Washington D.C. We studied the patent process thoroughly and spotted some discrepancies in Tillots on’s patent. Finally, the Supreme Court upheld ITC’s decision and justice was served,” he said.
Foo said if Smart Glove had lost its case against Tillotson, ITC would have been entitled to slap royalty fees on all nitrile medical gloves entering the US, including local sales.
“We estimated that if Tillotson had won its case, it would have had the right to collect a few hundred million US dollars from all nitrile medical glove manufacturers here.
“Manufacturers would not have been able to grow nitrile glove exports to the current RM10 billion a year,” said Foo.
This year, the Malaysian Rub ber Glove Manufacturers Association reportedly said its members, including Smart Glove, were hopeful of achieving more than 10 per cent export growth to RM18 billion, of which 60 per cent is that of the nitrile variant.

THE Malaysian Investment Development Authority states that eligibility for Pioneer Status and Investment Tax Allowance is based on high value-adding, technological usage and industrial linkages.
Pioneer Status A company granted Pioneer Status enjoys a five-year partial exemption from income tax payment. It pays tax on 30 per cent of its statutory income, with the exemption period commencing from its production day (defined as the day its production level reaches 30 per cent of its capacity).
Unabsorbed capital allowances and accumulated losses incurred during the pioneer period can be carried forward and deducted from the post pioneer income of the company.
Investment Tax Allowance As an alternative to Pioneer Status, a company may apply for Investment Tax Allowance ( ITA) .
A company granted ITA is entitled to an allowance of 60 per cent on its qualifying capital expenditure (factory, plant, machinery or other equipment used for the approved project) incurred within five years from the date the first qualifying capital expenditure is incurred.
The company can offset this allowance against 70 per cent of its statutory income for each year of assessment.
Any unutilised allowance can be carried forward to subsequent years until fully utilised. The remaining 30 per cent of its statutory income will be taxed at the prevailing company tax rate. - New Straits Times

Monday, June 25, 2018

Inventor urges govt to set up special body to protect patents

The government was today urged to create a special body to protect patents against piracy.
According to an inventor, Md Nayan Salleh, 63, the measure was needed because the existing act was unable to protect inventions and innovations which can boost national economy.
“I believe it’s time for the government to protect inventors so that their inventions will not be plagiarised by those seeking profits,” he said when met here, today.
“The 1993 Patent Act is still inadequate to protect inventors when their inventions are copied by irresponsible people, making many inventors reluctant to create new inventions,” he said here today.
Md Nayan who is also the managing director of Kitaran Potensi Sdn Bhd, with 22 years’ experience in the invention field claimed he was also a victim when the Food Waste Products, Fat and Grease Filtration and Separation System (Simpak) which he patented on Jan 1, 2009 was plagiarised until he lost about RM1 million.
“The government, especially the Ministry of Finance, has to make it compulsory for any company applying for the tender to list patents registered with the Patent Act to prevent copyright infringement,” said Md Nayan who has been involved with inventions since 1996.
Md Nayan said he has now put on hold about eight new innovations including pri-Aedes (Aedes destroyer) which does not use any chemicals instead only waves to trap mosquitoes.
“The use of poison will not destroy mosquitoes and can damage the environment,” said Nayan who did not want to produce his inventions for fear they may be plagiarised.
Md Nayan achieved success when he won three international-awards, including a gold medal and two silver medals in the International Scientific Inventions Competition in Geneva, Switzerland in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and received the National Genius Award (2003), the National Innovation Award (2015) and the National level ‘Anugerah Tokoh Maulidur Rasul’ in 2009. — Bernama
The inventors dilemma is a classic case of suggesting a solution which is somehow leaked to a competitor which then won the job.