What are patents?
In simple terms, a patent protects the way things work.
Patents protect the inventive kernel of a process or product.
Owners are granted exclusive rights for a limited term, in exchange for public disclosure at the end of the term.
The presence of patents within a product can also be utilized as a marketing tool.
Products that are marked with words such as ‘Patent Pending’ creates value and a sense of quality when viewed from the eyes of a consumer. Products, especially in the technology field, that are protected by patents indicate to the consumer that the company is a mature company, and takes importance and care in safeguarding its IP assets.
Why are patents important?
Exclusive Rights through Registration
Patent protection grants the owner the exclusive rights to the patented product/process for a limited term (typically 20 years). Upon expiry of the term, the patent can be freely utilized by any person.
In essence, the patent owners are granted a limited term to exploit their patents, and in exchange, the patented technology will be freely available for all to utilize at the end of the patent term.
Barrier to Entry - Competition
The ability to patent technologies for products/processes allows for patent owners to carve out a piece of territory in that field of technology.
This directly increases the barrier to entry for competitors as they will be required to tread carefully, to ensure that any competing product will not infringe upon any patents.
Just like physical assets, IP assets can also be utilized in more than one manner.
Patents in Malaysia
Key Points on the patent system in Malaysia:-
Act & Regulations – Patents Act 1983 & Patents Regulations 1986
In order to qualify for a patent in Malaysia, the following criterias need to be satisfied:
Qualification – Is it a solution to a problem in a field of technology?
Novelty – Is it new i.e. not disclosed anywhere in the world?
Inventive Step – is the invention obvious (is it anticipated by prior art - what has come before)?
Industrially Applicable – Can the invention be applied across industries?
Discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods
Plant/animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals, other than man-made living organisms, micro-biological processes and the product of such micro-organism processes
Schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games
Methods for the treatment of human or animal body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practices on the human or animal body
Duration - Upon grant, a patent is protected for a maximum period of twenty (20) years from the date of filing, upon payment of annuities on a yearly basis.
In addition to patents, the laws of Malaysia also provides for protection of “minor” inventions through utility innovations.
Utility innovations do not need to satisfy the test of inventive step, and contain only (1) claim.
Upon grant, a utility innovation is protected for up to a period of twenty (10+5+5) years from the date of filing, subject to use.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Malaysia is a contracting party to the PCT, thus allowing Applicants in Malaysia to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an international application designating all PCT countries (148 countries to date).
Do contact us should you wish to know more about PCT.
How do I file a patent/utility innovation in Malaysia?
As with all IP rights, patents are territorial. This means registration in Malaysia is limited to coverage in Malaysia.
In order to file a patent/utility innovation application in Malaysia, we will need the following:-
Details of the Applicant(s)
Details of the Inventor(s)
Patent Specification & Drawings
Priority particulars (if any)
Information on devolution of rights
Signed Appointment of Agent Form (Patents Form No.17) - a softcopy can be downloaded here.
How Advanz Fidelis can help
We have a full range of patent services that can cater towards your needs.
Our patents team consist of professionals from various fields, and have garnered years of experience in the drafting and filing of patents.
Got an invention, but don’t know where to start?
Not sure whether what you have created, is "patentable"?
Exploring a new market, but not sure how to navigate the patent field?
Can't differentiate between patent, copyright and industrial designs protection?
Contact us, and allow us to guide you through the patenting process.