Saturday, December 16, 2017

Court has no jurisdiction to revoke patents

The High Court has ruled, in a departure from 13 previous cases, that it has no jurisdiction to revoke patents, when it rejected a move by a defendant to have one revoked.

The court noted that the 13 past decisions did not raise objections to the right of a defendant to counterclaim and revoke a patent on the grounds that it was invalid.

"With due respect and deference to those cases, the fact that there is a practice does not provide a basis to establish jurisdiction as a matter of law. Nor can practice trump law," said Justice George Wei in judgment grounds issued on Thursday.

Sun Electric, which sells solar energy to consumers here, had sued a holding company for a licensed electricity retailer and developer of rooftop photovoltaic systems.

Sun claimed the company, Sunseap, had breached Sun's patent, which was for a power grid system and a method of determining power consumption at building connections in the system.

Sunseap denied the allegations and, among other things, made a counterclaim to have the patent revoked.

Sun Electric then sought to strike out Sunseap's bid to revoke the patent, but failed before a High Court assistant registrar.

Through a team of lawyers led by M. Ravindran, the company then appealed to the High Court in June.

Mr Ravindran argued that the right to apply to revoke patents was confined to the Registrar of Patents and Sunseap could not start revocation proceedings in the High Court, not even by a counterclaim.

But defence lawyer Lau Kok Keng cited past cases in which such proceedings to revoke a patent had been brought to the High Court by counterclaim, and noted that academic opinion also supported such moves.

Justice Wei said the cases referred "implicitly suggest" the High Court may hear such cases but "it does not appear that this question was ever directly raised, contested or ruled upon in any of the cases. It follows that these decisions cannot be treated as precedents to determine the question of law at hand."

In his 81-page judgment grounds, Justice Wei analysed the relevant provisions of the Patents Act and found the High Court did not possess jurisdiction to revoke a patent, or by way of a counterclaim.

The judge allowed Sun Electric's appeal to strike out the bid by Sunseap to revoke its patent.

Justice Wei acknowledged the decision would draw public interest and be of concern, adding that there was much to be said to reconsider anew, at an appropriate time, the court's jurisdiction and patent procedures by the relevant law reform body and Parliament. - Vijayan, Straits Times, Singapore

Monday, December 11, 2017

LES Malaysia New Office Bearers 2017/2018

On 29 Sep, 2017, the Annual General Meeting of the Licensing Executives Society Malaysia was held. The following executive officers were elected:

President: Michelle Loi
Vice President: Anita Kaur
Secretary: Dennis Tan
Assistant Secretary: Sri Sarguna
Treasurer: Jillian Chia
Committee members: Lim Pui Keng, Eddie Poh, Suaran Singh, Chong Tze Lin

LES Malaysia is the national section of LES International, an organization that advances the business of intellectual property globally.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

IPO Phillipines Appointed as PCT International Search Authority

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) was appointed as an International Search Authority at the 57th WIPO General Assembly on 5 Oct 2017.

IPOPHL is the 23rd in the world and 2nd in ASEAN to be appointed as search authority. The appointment is a form of recognition over the patent bureau's capability in examining patent applications.

Josephine Santiago, director general of IPOPHL said that the bureau of patents undertook a number of improvements in the last two years in order to meet the requirements for appointment. These requirements are:

(1) sufficient number of technical and man power competence to carry out search and examination in required technical fields. There are 110 full time patent examiners.

(2) use of comprehensive commercial and publicly accessible databases covering patent and non-patent science and engineering databases.

(3) a comprehensive and multi-tiered quality management system namely, in process quality check, ISO QMS 9001:2008 and internal Patent Quality Review System (PQRS),

(4) recommendation by established international authorities, particularly the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and IP Australia.

Santiago also cited the vibrant Philippine economy and the country’s achievement of having a highly successful network of Innovation and Technology Support Offices or ITSOs. This network of research institutions and universities is a potential source of patent filings. The Philippines has also been identified by WIPO as a “hub for intellectual property creation and commercialization”. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) ranked Philippines among the top 15 preferred investment destinations of multinational enterprises.

Philippines is the fifth most active country for patents after Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Each search authority can set their own search fee. IPOPHL have not announced their search fee. Search fee by Offices of Australia, Japan, and Singapore are USD1688, USD1372 and USD1645, respectively.

Monday, November 27, 2017

CopyrightX 2018 Spreading the Word



This year, I had the opportunity to enroll in CopyrightX, an online course on copyright conducted by the prestigious Harvard Law School. This is a comprehensive 12 weeks free course with access to lectures and tutorials conducted by Harvard faculty (http://copyx.org/lectures/). I have successfully completed the program and obtained a certificate
(https://www2.harvardx.harvard.edu/certificates/copyrightx17/41ad4c3edd/certificate.pdf)

Enrollment for 2018 program is currently open. I believe the program may be of interest to people who deal with copyright. Kindly refer the course website (copyx.org) or forwarded mail for more information.

 
---------- Forwarded message ----------


Dear CopyrightX Alumnus,

As you may know, we are currently getting ready for the 2018 version of CopyrightX. As a past participant in the course, we were hoping you could help us spread the word! Most importantly, we are currently accepting applications for the 2018 course!

We encourage you to tell your friends and colleagues about the course. Because you come from such diverse backgrounds, you likely have access to people who might not otherwise hear about the course. In addition to spreading the word through your personal and professional networks, we advocate promotion of the course through social media.

Please point your friends and colleagues to the course website (copyx.org) or the HarvardX portal
(http://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/copyrightx?keywords=copyrightx) for more information about the course. Applications for the course can be found here (https://brk.mn/applycx18). For social media, the shortened URL for the course application is (brk.mn/applycx18). Please note, the application closes December 13th.

For inquiries, please write to copyrightx@cyber.law.harvard.edu.

Much Thanks,

The CopyrightX Team

Monday, November 13, 2017

11 TPP countries agree to move ahead by suspending 20 provisions (IP included)

Malaysia, together with the 10 remaining Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal countries, have agreed that 20 provisions of the TPP agreement -- more known as TPPA in Malaysia -- be suspended to revive the deal, according to Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

The 11 members -- namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam -- also agreed on the text of the agreement, which has been renamed as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP in short.

"Following the withdrawal of the US from the TPPA deal, the remaining countries have decided the way forward to implement the agreement is by suspending a limited number of provisions, while maintaining the high standard and comprehensive nature of the agreement," MITI said in a statement today.

US President Donald Trump earlier this year turned his back on the TPPA brokered by his predecessor Barack Obama in favor of his “America First” stance.

Following that, the trade deal was in limbo, though many of the remaining members had voiced they were keen to push forward with it when they met at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit this week in Da Nang, Vietnam. But on Friday, there were reports of Canada saying it was not ready to move forward with the trade deal as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau skipped a planned meeting to discuss it, and that talks to revive the agreement had collapsed.

Now, despite Canada's hesitation, MITI said ministers of the 11 countries have agreed on 20 provisions to be suspended, and that a number of issues remain to be finalised before the signing of the agreement, though it did not give a timeline. MITI minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed highlighted that among the provisions to be suspended that are of interest to Malaysia include biologics, patent term adjustment and copyrights.

To finalise the outstanding issues, he said Malaysia will continue to work closely with other countries in the work programme.

"The signing of the CPTPP will be decided by all parties once all the technical work and outstanding issues are finalised. Following the signing, the agreement is open for ratification. The agreement will enter into force once six signatories have ratified it," the statement read.

MITI stressed that despite the absence of the US, Malaysia still stands to gain benefits from market access to countries like Canada, Peru and Mexico.

“Overall, we believe that the benefits from CPTPP will outweigh its costs in the context of Malaysia. Our continued involvement in the CPTPP is a testament of Malaysia’s commitment to globalisation and multilateralism”, said Mustapa.

Another consideration, he said, is the impact to the local economy should Malaysia decide not to join the CPTPP, while the remaining 10 countries move ahead. "We will not only miss out on the opportunities to strengthen our trade and investment ties with these 10 countries, but also with those countries that have registered their interest to join the CPTPP in future," he said.

“The agreement reached here in Da Nang, Vietnam will be brought back for further engagement with the relevant stakeholders back home," he added. - The Edge

Monday, October 23, 2017

Malaysia, Japan in cooperation to strengthen intellectual property protection

Malaysia will work with Japan to strengthen its local intellectual property (IP) protection mechanism.

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the move included cooperation with Todai Technology Licensing Office Ltd (Todai TLO), a Tokyo University subsidiary, in terms of providing commercial value assessment.

“The initiative will benefit IP owners, and add value as well as enable local IPs to be more widely promoted. The ministry will see how it could find valuers to assess the IPs in our country.

“It will make it easier for them to borrow from a financial institution and prove that their IPs have vast commercial value,” he told Malaysian media after visiting the Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union (JCCU) here today.

Aside from TLO and JCCU, Hamzah, who is on a three-day working visit here, also dropped by at Japan Patent Office (JPO) to study how the country, renowned for its innovation, manages and commercialises its intellectual properties.

He noted that the analysis conducted by JPO found that companies which had registered their intellectual properties were able to make more profit compared with those who did not.

Hence, he said, local producers, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be aware of the advantage of registering and securing patents for their products and services.

The minister disclosed that he had also directed the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) to hold further discussions with JPO and Todai. — Bernama

Monday, October 16, 2017

BlackBerry patent licensing director says he has left company

A key attorney executing BlackBerry Ltd’s (BB.TO) patent licensing strategy has left the company, the second recent departure from the team tasked with making money from the Canadian company’s intellectual property.

Victor Schubert, who was a licensing director for BlackBerry, told Reuters in a brief LinkedIn message that he was no longer with the company. He did not say when he left or why.

Monetizing the company’s intellectual property is a key part of Chief Executive John Chen’s plan for turning around the company whose revenues have declined for six straight years as sales of its once ubiquitous smartphones have tumbled.

Company representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Schubert. Two switchboard operators at the Canadian company said his name was not in a global employee directory.

News of his exit follows the recent departure of Mark Kokes, who lead BlackBerry’s overall patent strategy. Kokes last month joined a health technology company.

Schubert joined BlackBerry in March 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile, as the company was embarking on a major push to boost licensing revenue.

BlackBerry is trying to persuade other companies to pay licensing royalties to use its trove of some 40,000 global patents on technology including operating systems, networking infrastructure, acoustics, messaging, automotive subsystems, cybersecurity and wireless communications.

Schubert has created and executed patent-licensing programs for at least four companies, including BlackBerry, dating back to 1992, according to his LinkedIn profile. It lists portfolio mining, patent valuation and negotiating patent sales as areas of expertise.

He was due to represent BlackBerry at a Seattle-area patent conference next month to discuss how operating companies can make money off their intellectual property, according to an agenda posted on the conference website in August. He is no longer listed as a panelist. - Reuters

Monday, September 25, 2017

PPH and PCT-PPH between MyIPO - EPO

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an initiative which provides a means of significantly accelerating examination of your patent application if examination work has already been conducted at another patent office.

Under the PPH program, if the claims of your application have been found to be acceptable by a first patent office, you may request accelerated examination of a corresponding application at a second office. The PPH is a procedure whereby patent offices can make use of relevant work already conducted by another office when conducting the patent examination.

PCT-PPH allows favorable claims from PCT which nominate EPO for search to be considered under PPH.

With effect from 1 July 2017, MyIPO starts a pilot PPH/PCT-PPH programs with the Ruropean Patent Office (EPO):

i). MyIPO-EPO PPH pilot program

ii). EPO-MyIPO PPH pilot program

The pilot program will run for three years.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Malaysia Patent Information in Patentscope

According to WIPO, the national patent information of Brunei, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are now available in WIPO’s global patent search system PATENTSCOPE, since 30 Aug 2017. This brings to 51 the number of national/regional offices whose data is available in the PATENTSCOPE Search System and to over 65,000,000 the total number of records.

I have conducted a search for Malaysia patent information in Patentscope. Bibliography and patent abstracts are listed for patent applications and patent granted in Malaysia. Full description, claims and drawings are not available.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Businesses using trademarks contribute 30 pct to Malaysia's economy

Trademark-intensive businesses in Malaysia generated 30 per cent direct and 60 per cent indirect benefits to the economy, said International Trademark Association (INTA).

INTA chief representative of Asia-Pacific Seth Hays cited the latest study, conducted from 2012 to 2015, by Frontier Economics, highlighting trademark-intensive activities contribute technological innovation and international business growth.

When asked on the 30 per cent direct and 60 per cent indirect contributions to Malaysia’s economy, Hays explained when trademark-intensive activities are extensively promoted within the business community, government and consuming public, it results in immense cross sectoral economic growth.

"Trademark-intensive industries in Malaysia comprised 55 per cent of the country's share of exports, including manufacturing of computers, electronics and related equipment, which accounted for about 19 per cent of total manufacturing value-add,” he said.

Hays was speaking in a media briefing here today, after presenting ‘The Economic Contributions of Trademark-intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand’ report.

Also present were Shook Lin & Bok deputy managing partner Michael Soo, MyIPO deputy director general Zulkarnain Muhammad and MyIPO assistant director general Azahar Abdul Razab.

"In terms of employment, output, and value-added, workers' share of workforce represented 24 per cent of total employment," Hays said.

Soo concurred and said trademark registration, brand development and enforcement of intellectual property protection will continue its significance as Malaysia embrace a knowledge-based digital economy.

Soo highlighted homegrown brands trademarks that are growing in brand value globally include Petronas, Maybank, CIMB, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Sime Darby, Shangri-la, Genting Resorts and Maxis.

Emerging brands and trademarks, which are growing regionally, including Proton, Perodua, Mamee snacks and Vochelle chocolates. - Ooi Tee Ching, New Straits Times

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

Access to Biological Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Bill 2017

The ABS Bill have been passed, according to parliament. The bill seeks to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity and Nagoya Protocol.

Malaysia is rich in biodiversity. The bill imposes a requirement of a permit for commercial or potential commercial exploitation of biological resources. The permit is provided after a benefit sharing agreement is established with the resource provider of biological resources. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment at federal level or State Economic Planning can issue the permit. Anyone who accessed biological resources without a permit commits an offense.

If the Federal Government or State Authority is not the resource provider, it may require the applicant to pay a percentage of monetary benefits derived under the benefit sharing agreement. If the biological resource is obtained from land which indigenous and local community have a right, or traditional knowledge held by the community, a consent is required to be obtained.

Any person applying for a patent, in or outside Malaysia, in relation to a biological resource shall notify the government in writing within thirty days from the date of application. The person that did not comply commits an offense.

A reward may be provided for informers for services rendered in connection with the detection of any offense under this Act.

Finally, a law to curb biopiracy

Posted on 7 August 2017 - 10:05am
Gurdial Singh Nijar

LAST week the Dewan Rakyat passed a bill to curb "biopiracy". This is the stealing of the biological resources of a country without its consent.

Once it becomes law shortly (after the Dewan Negara and the king give their assent), a permit will be required to access our biological resources for research and development; or to access traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples associated with these resources. If it is for a commercial purpose then there must be a benefit-sharing agreement with the resource provider – invariably indigenous and local communities. Or states – who have jurisdiction over state parks and forests. For pure research purposes, for example by universities, there is no need for a benefit sharing agreement.

Crucially, in all cases the prior informed consent of indigenous and local communities is mandatory when their traditional knowledge associated with the biological resource is taken. For it is their traditional knowledge as to the uses of these resources that is much sought after. Indeed, such knowledge has clothed, fed and healed the world.

The World Health Organisation reports that three-fourths of the drugs in modern medicine are based on leads provided by the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples and local communities. Even the life-saving anaesthesia – so critical for surgeries – is reportedly based on the traditional knowledge of South American indigenous peoples. They caught monkeys perched high up on trees by shooting them with a dart loaded with plant-based "poison". Only the monkey's outer skin would be pierced (so the poison did not contaminate the animal) but the monkey's bodily functions continued. So rigor mortis would not set it and the monkey would fall to the ground.

In the past corporations, essentially from the North, accessed the resources and the traditional knowledge for free on the basis that they were "the common heritage of mankind". Developing countries protested because these resources – including seeds which farmers provided to collection centres (mainly in the North) – were then accessed by corporations, turned into products, patented and commercialised. The huge profits reaped were never returned to the holders of the traditional knowledge nor the country from where the resources were accessed. And so, for example, the traditional knowledge of the multi-uses of the neem plant – described by Gandhi as a village pharmacopoeia – was pillaged by Western scientists visiting Indian villages – who patented the precise use of the active ingredients of the bioresource.

Finally, an international Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) was enacted in 1992. It vested the resources in the country and in its people; and made it a condition that there must be prior informed consent of the resource provider. Malaysia is a party to the CBD. The CBD's benefit sharing requirements were reinforced by another international agreement – the Nagoya Protocol of 2010. Malaysia played a pivotal role in the negotiation of this protocol – as a spokesperson for developing countries grouped as the Like Minded Megadiverse Countries.

This bill paves the way for the country to ratify the protocol.

The bill was a long time in the making. Essentially because our constituent states, which constitutionally have exclusive jurisdiction over land and its resources, were wary of the encroachment of federal authority over their rights. The matter was resolved with the jurisdiction to implement the law being vested entirely in states. The federal government plays a coordinating role. As well as provide the link to international enforcement when a resource illegally taken from the state is developed and patented elsewhere.

Under the Nagoya Protocol, countries who become parties to this treaty must ensure that anyone using biological resources (and the associated traditional knowledge) or applying for rights over products created from this use, has acquired the resource legally from the country of origin. Else, the country will be subjected to compliance measures. This is an added value for our states as only parties (read, the federal government) can be a party to the protocol to avail itself of these enforcement measures. So, if someone steals a resource or associated traditional knowledge and seeks later to patent or commercialise a product developed from the resource in a foreign country, then it must prove that it has acquired the resource legally in compliance with our laws. The foreign country which is a party to the protocol is obliged to put in place measures that will prevent any illegal use.

This is indeed a significant step forward in ensuring that we as a country, and indigenous and local communities, do not lose benefits arising from the pirating of our resources and traditional knowledge by foreign corporations and persons.

That this illegal taking could well result in huge losses can be illustrated by a recent example. A US researcher patented a fungi which has the potential to treat a recurring disease of the oil palm. This translates into huge potential value. He collected the resource on a visit to a research university in Malaysia. He refuses to acknowledge that he needs to get our consent nor come to a benefit sharing arrangement.

Biopiracy has been a worldwide phenomenon. The San indigenous people had their traditional knowledge of the hoodia plant accessed for treating obesity. The indigenous people were by-passed entirely. Neither their consent was sought; nor any benefits accrued to them. They had to fight long and hard to secure benefits. Turmeric and basmati rice – all have been misappropriated in similar fashion. There are many other examples. The Nagoya Protocol is focused on staunching these thefts.

Malaysia is rich in bioresources. We are among the 12 richest biodiversity countries in the world. One of our plants is now in the midst of testing to provide a remedy for AIDS. Modern biotechnology also relies on genetic resources and its derivatives to create new products. We house the oldest rainforest in the world – which stores these resources. Our indigenous peoples are the ones who can unlock the value of these resources with their traditional knowledge as to the use of these biological resources. The renowned Sarawak Biodiversity Centre has been actively carrying out research on biological resources based entirely on the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples. It has successfully entered into arrangements with companies and researchers to derive benefits if any resultant products are commercialised.

The bill will provide the necessary framework for regulating (and incentivising) research and development – by both foreign as well as local researchers.

In this context local researchers from public universities and research institutions can freely exchange the materials between themselves for pure research without the need for any additional permit beyond the initial one. Only when a "hit" yields a product will they be required to enter into a benefit sharing agreement.

Overall, this new Access and Benefit-Sharing law will optimise the benefits accruing to the country, states and indigenous peoples, encourage domestic researchers and provide the necessary financial and technological means for us to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the components of our rich biodiversity.

Gurdial was the founder-director of the Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity Law, a joint venture between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Universiti Malaya. The centre was involved in the drafting of the ABS bill. - The Sun

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Medicines Patent Pool Extend Licence for Atazanavir to 122 Developing Countries


The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has signed an extension of its licensing agreement with biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to further increase access to atazanavir (ATV), part of the World Health Organization-preferred second-line treatment for adults and children.

Announced during an MPP-jointly hosted satellite at the 9th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science in Paris this evening, the amendment adds 12 countries to the 110 included in the original 2013 agreement. Home to 1.4 million people living with HIV (PLHIV), the additional countries are: Algeria, Cook Islands, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Niue, the Philippines, Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam. The agreement now covers 89% of PLHIV in low- and middle-income countries.

"Our ATV licence has already demonstrated results for communities battling resistance to current regimens in low- and middle-income countries," said Greg Perry, Executive Director of the MPP. "We are pleased to work with long-term partner BMS to broaden access to an important second-line option for many more people living with HIV."

"Our work with the MPP is an important part of our commitment to access through multi-faceted approaches that help ensure innovative medicines such as atazanavir are available to patients all around the world," said Amadou Diarra, Head of Global Policy, Advocacy & Government Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We are pleased by the continuing progress made to that end through our licensing agreements with the MPP."

Since the MPP and BMS signed the licensing agreement for ATV in December 2013, the MPP's six generic manufacturing partners have distributed 98 million doses[1] of the treatment, equivalent to a quarter of a million patient-years, to 63 countries.

"We are grateful for MPP efforts to ensure the availability and quality of guaranteed HIV treatment for Ukrainian patients and we hope to further expand access to innovative medicines for the treatment of HIV infections, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis." - Dr. Ulana Suprun, Minister of Health, Ukraine

"The All-Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) welcomes the Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Medicines Patent Pool agreement on the inclusion of Ukraine in the atazanavir licence. This is a very important development for Ukraine in terms of the HIV treatment optimisation efforts of the Ministry of Health, Ukraine and the Network, and the availability of generic atazanavir will improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for people living with HIV in Ukraine." - Sergey Dmitriev, Director of Policy and Advocacy of the All-Ukrainian Network of PLWHA

"This is great news for Malaysia as it provides a very interesting option for affordable second-line treatment." - Edward Low, Director of the Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+)

"The availability of generic atazanavir will bring more treatment options for PLHIV in Indonesia. Considering that atazanavir has lower pill counts and more favourable effects on lipid levels than existing protease inhibitors used in-country, its availability is beneficial." - Edo Agustian, National Coordinator, Indonesia Drug User Network

About the Medicines Patent Pool

The Medicines Patent Pool is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low- and middle-income countries. Through its innovative business model, the MPP partners with industry, civil society, international organisations, patient groups and other stakeholders to prioritise, forecast and license needed medicines and pool intellectual property to encourage generic manufacture and the development of new formulations. To date, the MPP has signed agreements with nine patent holders for twelve HIV antiretrovirals, one HIV technology platform, a tuberculosis treatment and two hepatitis C direct-acting antivirals. The MPP is funded by Unitaid. - Medicines Patent Pool

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jimmy Choo bought by Michael Kors in £896m deal



Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo has been bought by Michael Kors Holdings in a deal which values the firm at £896m.

The British firm, which was put up for sale in April, had attracted attention from a number of suitors.

As well as shoes, Jimmy Choo produces a range of luxury goods.

Jimmy Choo shoes featured the 90s TV hit show, Sex and the City, and are still seen on the feet of the famous, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Beyonce and Kendal Jenner.

"Some other brands are very over exposed, like the red-soled Loubutin, but Jimmy Choo managed to get in the limelight, stay there but never become over saturated," said Lisa Armstrong, fashion director of the Daily Telegraph.

"It's still the shoe of choice for the Oscars," she said.

Malaysian-born Jimmy Choo trained at the renowned Cordwainers Technical College in London.

He founded the business in 1996 with former Vogue journalist Tamara Mellon.

In 2001 Ms Mellon and private equity investors bought out Mr Choo.

Ten years later, Ms Mellon left the business to launch her own clothing line.

In 2014, Jimmy Choo listed on the London Stock Exchange, by which time JAB, owned by the German billionaire Reimann family, was the main shareholder.

JAB Holdings is backing this deal.

The Telegraph's Lisa Armstrong says that Jimmy Choo feels this deal with fellow fashion house Michael Kors is better than being "passed around by more venture capitalists".

Michael Kors describes itself as a luxury brand, and, like Jimmy Choo, it is named after its founder and creative force.

Its handbags are priced at between $200-600 (£160-460).

Recent years have been a struggle for the company, its most recent same-store sales figures were down 14%.

Michael Kors said the acquisition was expected to deliver a number of benefits, including "the opportunity to grow Jimmy Choo sales to one billion dollars" and "a more balanced portfolio with greater product diversification".

It said Jimmy Choo would also have the opportunity to grow in the men's luxury footwear category, as well as greater exposure to global markets, "particularly the fast-growing market in Asia". -BBC

Friday, June 9, 2017

10 Most Valuable Global Brands

Brand Finance, a business valuation consultancy, have published their 2017 report on most valuable global brands. Here are the top 10 brands ranked:


1. Google US$109 bil


2. Apple $107 bil

3. Amazon $106 bil

4. AT&T $87 bil

5. Microsoft $76 bil

6. Samsung $66 bil

7. Verizon $66 bil

8. Walmart $62 bil

9. Facebook $62 bil

10. ICBC $48 bil

Google have overtaken Apple as the most valuable brand. Google remains unchallenged in advertising income.

Apple was the most valuable brand for the past five years, according to the report. Apple's brand value have dropped due to unexciting new product launch such as Apple Watch. Apple and Samsung is also facing pressure from Chinese brands such as Huawei and Oneplus in the smartphone market.

Six out of the top ten brands are owned by technology companies: Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and Facebook. These companies rely on their intellectual property to generate income. They are actively involved in generating more research and intellectual property to remain competitive. It is also clear to these companies that intellectual property is more valuable than physical property.

AT&T and Verizon are telecommunication companies that leverage and use technology. Walmart is the worlds largest physical retail store. ICBC is the worlds largest bank.

In 2013, I participated in IP valuation training by World Trade Institute and MyIPO. I learnt how to calculate the value of a brand from its activity.

10 Most Valuable Oil and Gas Brands

Brand Finance, a business valuation consultancy, have published their 2017 report on most valuable oil and gas brands. Here are the top 10 brands ranked:



1. Shell US$37 bil

2. Sinopec $30 bil

3. PetroChina $29 bil

4. Chevron $22 bil

5. ExxonMobil $21 bil

6. BP $19 bil

7. Total $19 bil

8. ENI $11 bil


9. Petronas $ 11 bil

10. Pemex $8 bil

Shell is the worlds's most valuable oil and gas brand for many years. They have operation in a number of countries. According to Brand Finance, its association with Ferrari continues to deliver returns, with a price premium.

Sinopec, in 2nd place, is planning an IPO of its retail business. Along with PetroChina at 3rd, Chinese brands are on the race to take the number one spot. Brand Finance predicted that both brands could easily overtake Shell in 2018 with growth of 47% and 43% this year.

Petronas manage to increase brand value up to 6% from value of $10 bil in 2016. Petronas was ranked 8th in 2016 gave way to Eni which leap frog from 10th position in 2016 to 8th position in 2017.

In 2013, I participated in IP valuation training by World Trade Institute and MyIPO. I learnt how to calculate the value of a brand from its activity.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

10 Most Valuable Football Brands

Brand Finance, a business valuation consultancy, have published their 2017 report on most valuable football clubs. Here are the top 10 clubs ranked:


1. Manchester United US$1.7 bil

2. Real Madrid $1.4 bil

3. FC Barcelona $1.4 bil

4. Chelsea $1.2 bil

5. Bayern Munich $1.2 bil

6. Manchester City $1.0 bil

7. Paris Saint-German $1.0 bil

8. Arsenal $0.9 bil

9. Liverpool $0.9 bil

10. Totenham Hotspur $0.7 bil

Manchester United generated revenues of $765 million during the 2015-16 season. They posted operating income of $288 million, $107 million more than second placed Real Madrid. They currently have 26 global sponsors including Adidas, Chevrolet, 20th Century Fox and Uber. Manchester United also benefited from Premier League broadcast deal. The Premier League have a formula for sharing broadcast revenue. Other than Premier League, the club developed MUTV channel, which has launched in 160 countries, requiring fans to pay a monthly fee for access.

There is no debate that the most popular football club in Malaysia is Manchester United. Public Bank used to provide co-sponsored credit card. Now Maybank have filled the role and provide co-branded credit card in Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines. In 2016, Maybank was ranked third most valuable brand in Malaysia by Brand Finance, behind Petronas and Genting.



On 4 Sep 2013, I presented a paper on 'Sports and IP' at Sports Centre, Universiti Malaya. I shared that sports club own tremendous potential in IP. Popular sports are well supported in Malaysia. If a sports club is well managed, the IP can be a tool of unity to generate income for the club.

I hope that Malaysia football, badminton and basketball clubs can realize their IP potential.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Patents for Humanity: improving lives across the globe

By Edward Elliott*, Attorney Advisor, Patents for Humanity Program Manager, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), USA

*Authored by an employee of the United States Patent and Trademark Office; no copyright is claimed by the United States in this article or associated materials.

Patents for Humanity is a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awards program that recognizes innovators who overcome these challenges to bring life-changing technologies to those in need. Its purpose is twofold. First, it highlights success stories so that others can learn how to reach underserved communities. Second, by providing value to award winners, the program seeks to offset some of the diminished commercial incentives in these regions, thereby encouraging more innovation projects aimed at helping impoverished communities. This value includes public recognition of winners’ work and a voucher for accelerating certain matters before the USPTO.

Participants submit applications describing how they are using patented technology to benefit the less fortunate in five broad categories of humanitarian need: medicine, nutrition, sanitation, energy and living standards. Once the application period closes, we run a two-phase selection process with volunteer experts from outside the USPTO, including university faculty and technology transfer professionals, to review the entries according to program criteria. The review committee then sends a list of recommended award winners to the USPTO.

The first Patents for Humanity competition launched in early 2012 as a pilot program. Since then, it has attracted support from the White House and members of the U.S. Congress as well as many companies, trade associations, public interest groups and universities. In 2014, the USPTO announced that Patents for Humanity would be an ongoing program. Subsequent rounds of Patents for Humanity awards were made in April 2015 and most recently November 2016.

To date, Patents for Humanity has given 21 awards to all types of entities, from large multinational corporations to small companies and startups as well as universities and non-profit organizations. These recipients show how even a small group of people with focus and commitment can impact lives around the globe. The program is open to all U.S. patent owners and licensees. Three awards have gone to organizations based in Europe.

Past award winners include patent owners using their portfolios to decrease the cost of HIV and malaria drugs, develop more nutritious food sources, bring solar energy to off-grid villages, combat unsafe counterfeit medicines and purify billions of liters of water using inexpensive packets. Award winners from the past two cycles include:

* Sanofi, for supplying large quantities of anti-malarial compounds on an at-cost basis for use in developing countries.
* Novartis, for identifying new drug compounds for potentially treating drug-resistant tuberculosis and donating them to the non-profit TB Alliance for further development.
* SunPower Corp, for delivering clean solar-powered lighting to replace kerosene in villages in the Philippines through converted shipping containers.
* American Standard Brands, for distributing 1.2 million “SaTo” safe toilet latrine pans to communities in Africa and Southeast Asia.
* GRIT (Global Research Innovation & Technology), for developing an all-terrain wheelchair using readily available bicycle parts for use in India, Guatemala, Haiti and other locations.
Golden Rice, for creating vitamin A-enriched strains of rice to prevent thousands of cases of blindness and death each day among people who subsist primarily on rice.
* Nutriset, for fighting childhood malnutrition by creating a worldwide network of partners to supply their PlumpyNut formula using local producers.
* GestVision, for developing a quick, simple diagnostic test for preeclampsia, a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication, for use in developing regions.
* Case Western Reserve University, for creating a low-cost, accurate malaria detection device using magnets and lasers for quicker diagnosis and treatment.
* Global Good Fund, for creating a passive cooler that can keep vaccines cold for 30 days, and for donating dozens of units to the fight against Ebola and other relief efforts.
* U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for developing an improved meningitis vaccine production process that has been used to immunize 235 million people in high-risk African countries.


An estimated 65 million people in the developing world require wheelchairs. Conventional wheelchairs do not function well on the rough and uneven terrain commonly found in developing regions. GRIT was created by engineering graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to increase mobility for people with disabilities around the world. Their three-wheel Leveraged Freedom Chair uses a push-lever drivetrain to help people move over uneven terrain such as broken pavements, dirt roads, fields, hills, rocky terrain and more. It is built from standard bicycle parts to enable local repairs with available materials. After graduating, the MIT students founded GRIT to bring the product to market, and MIT assisted by transferring the patent rights to GRIT for further development.

The chair has been distributed in partnership with the World Bank, the Red Cross and others in Brazil, Easter Island (Chile), Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, India, Kenya, Nepal and the United Republic of Tanzania. A new version of the chair, known as the Freedom Chair, is now available in the United States for recreational use, helping Americans move beyond the pavement.

For more information on Patents for Humanity, including the latest announcements, visit www.uspto.gov/patentsforhumanity

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Trademark amendments: Protecting ‘sound, smell and colours'

The “sound, smell and colours” produced by Malaysian companies will be protected under amendments to the Trade Marks Act 1976.

The move, which is meant to upgrade related laws, would also address issues such as monetisation of intellectual property (IP) and infringement, said Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) intellectual property adviser Abdul Aziz Ismail.

Another provision that would be included is the procedure for single filing. This allows for a person to get protection from various member countries under the World Intellectual Property Orga­nisation (WIPO).

“It will be tabled in Parliament in March after we get the go ahead from the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers,” he said during a seminar by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) entitled “Are Intellectual Property Rights Under Siege in Malaysia?” yesterday.

“MyIPO proposed to revamp the Trade Marks Act as it was an old one that was based on Britain’s Trade Marks Act 1938.

“There are a lot of new provisions, especially on the NTM (new trade mark) issues such as sound, smell and colours, and the procedure for single filing to get protection from the various member countries under Wipo,” he said.

The timeline for the law to be in place would be before 2018 or the first quarter of 2018.

Abdul Aziz said changes to the law would still be carried out although US President-elect Donald Trump would likely withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

When asked whether the relevant laws would still be amended if the TPPA was cancelled, Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry principal assistant director Burhan Irwan Cheong said that the law reform would continue.

“But there may be internal review on some of the standards that we are going to introduce purely because of TPP obligations.

“That internal review has not been finalised. There will be a discussion with the lead ministry, Miti (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) this week.

-- The Star

Kerajaan Usaha Wujud Lembaga Penilai Harta Intelek

Kerajaan sedang berusaha menubuhkan Lembaga Penilai Harta Intelek bagi mengeluarkan prosedur operasi standard (SOP) untuk menilai harta intelek (IP) di negara ini, kata Menteri Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan (KPDNKK) Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

Menyasarkan penubuhan lembaga itu selewat-lewatnya pada akhir tahun ini, beliau berkata lembaga itu berperanan mengesahkan penilaian sedia ada, yang dilakukan oleh konsultan IP diiktiraf oleh agensi antarabangsa.

Penubuhan lembaga itu akan dikendalikan oleh Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta (JPPH) dan Perbadanan Harta Intelek Malaysia (MyIPO).

"JPPH dan MyIPO akan memulakan kerjasama ini secepat mungkin bagi mengumpul penilai IP yang terbaik untuk menentukan SOP, nilai, standard, penanda aras dan sektor sesuatu IP itu nanti.

"Kita percaya usaha ini boleh membantu meningkatkan ekonomi negara kerana IP dianggap aset utama perniagaan yang boleh menjana tunai," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menyaksikan pemeteraian Memorandum Persefahaman (MoU) di antara JPPH dan MyIPO.

Sehingga kini, negara mempunyai 23 orang penilai IP yang diiktiraf oleh agensi antarabangsa hasil inisiatif dan kerjasama MyIPO dengan World Trade Institute (WTI) University of Bern, Switzerland.

Hamzah berkata MoU di antara JPPH dan MyIPO itu, antara lain akan mewujudkan rangka kerja lengkap dalam menjadikan IP sebagai instrumen cagaran dalam kewangan untuk tujuan pembiayaan.

"Pada masa kini kerja-kerja penilaian IP masih baharu dan dalam peringkat pembangunan sebab itu rangka kerja sedang dijalankan untuk memastikan hak pemberi pinjaman dan peminjam," katanya.

Dalam perkembangan lain, Hamzah berkata sejumlah 53 produk tempatan berjaya didaftarkan sebagai IP negara di bawah komponen petunjuk geografi.

"Beberapa produk tempatan dilabel sebagai IP antaranya Lada Hitam Sarawak, Rumpai Laut Sabah dan Asam Pedas Melaka. Produk ini diiktiraf kerana keunikan berdasarkan kedudukan geografinya di negara ini," katanya.

-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chatime dispute a wake-up call for Malaysian franchising industry: MFA

The highly publicised dispute over the Chatime franchise highlights the need for better understanding of the mutually beneficial relationship between franchisors and franchisees, according to the Malaysian Franchise Association (MFA).

According to the MFA, franchise agreements provide a win-win situation for both parties, but the challenges inherent are the knowledge and capacity to observe the required conduct by both parties in keeping with the spirit of the agreement.

“The lessons (from disputes) are that one must have full understanding of the business and that one must not be arrogant. Be able to open up and seek prudent views in approaching the issues. You don’t want to waste money on disputes because we want that valuable time to do business,” MFA chairman Datuk Mohd Latip Sarrugi told, explaining that legal fees for franchise disputes can cost RM50,000 to RM100,000.

He said MFA, which has over 300 members, was not approached to mediate in the dispute between Loob Holding Sdn Bhd, the master franchisee for the Chatime brand in Malaysia, and Taiwanese franchisor La Kaffa International Co Ltd.

Loob is not a member of MFA.

“Hypothetically, when members have problem, we normally encourage them to discuss things amicably so that they’re not known to be having issues in the relationship (between franchisor and franchisee), which is not good for growth of that particular brand, nor is it good for the industry. Prudent business normally understands. They don’t want to wash dirty linen in public. If both parties have good conscience and want to do business, they normally settle the issues,” said Latip.

He said over the years, the Malaysian franchise industry has grown and its stakeholders, including franchisors and franchisees, have become more knowledgeable, and tolerance has always been the basis of moving forward.

“I appeal that during these difficult (economic) times, be understanding because this is the time a good franchisor will be seen to be able to guide franchisees in the business. Any changes in the mode of doing business must not result in less favourable (outcome) to the franchisees. The Franchise Act 1998 came into being to regulate the conduct of franchisors and franchisees doing business in this country,” said Latip.

The Franchise Act 1998 states that any changes in the franchise documents must be filed with the Registrar of Franchise under the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism. The registrar can take action against the relevant party for an offence under the Act.

The minimum term for a franchise in Malaysia is five years.

Latip said if a franchisee has defaulted, the franchisor must send a notice to the franchisee to remedy the breach, giving 14 days before any further action is taken.

He highlighted that businesses, especially master franchisees, should consult legal advisers before and during the commencement of business to understand the franchise agreement, and not seek legal advice only when things have turned sour.

“The language in the (franchise) agreement is not ordinary language. You may understand the language but you may not be able to foresee the consequences. There are a lot of details to be aware of. Franchisees should equip themselves before embarking on the franchise business.

"Franchisees must not get lured by the external look of the franchise brand and fashion, because they’re going in for a long-term relationship," said Latip.

Loob, which is expected to unveil its new brand of tea stores by March 6, has lodged a police report against brand owner La Kaffa and is committed to keeping its 165 outlets in Malaysia open. The dispute between Loob and the franchisor came out in the open following La Kaffa’s announcement early last month that it had terminated the franchise and would immediately take over all the 165 Chatime outlets in the country. - The Sun