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  • Is it necessary to register my trademark?
    Of course! Registering your trademark has the following benefits:- · Once your mark is registered, you can use the symbol “®” in your trademark, thus indicating your mark is registered and increases brand trust amongst consumers · Gives you the rights to take legal action against anyone who uses your mark without your authorization · Ensures that no similar trademark is being registered, which could cause confusion amongst the public, leading to a potential loss in revenue if consumers support your competitor
  • Is my trademark protected worldwide if it is only registered in Malaysia?
    Trademark protection is territorial. Your trademark will be protected solely in Malaysia if it is registered in Malaysia.
  • How long is a trademark valid for after registration?
    A trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of registration and may be renewed every 10 years. A trademark may be valid in perpetuity.
  • How long does it take for a trademark to be registered?
    Based on our observation, it takes 12-15 months from the application date for a trademark to be registered, provided there are no enquiries or objections raised by the examiner, and no opposition raised by any third party.
  • How do I protect my mark in other countries?
    There are 2 ways to protect your mark in other countries:- 1) Madrid System – brand owners are allowed to protect their marks across 100+countries which are member states of the Madrid System by filing one application in one language and paying one fee. 2) Filing of trademark application separately in country(s) of interest – brand owners engage IP attorneys/agents in country(s) of interest to assist in filing of the trademark application.
  • After my mark is registered, if I use an amended version or a slightly different version of my mark, is it being protected?
    You should use the mark as how it is when it is being registered. If your mark is being filed as a plain word mark, or a series of mark in colour and black and white, you mark will still be protected provided the same mark is being used but in a different colour. It is advisable to file a new trademark application to obtain registration for a different version of your mark.
  • What should I do if I found counterfeit version of my product online or in a marketplace?
    As a brand owner who has registered your mark, you can enforce your rights by issuing a cease & desist letter to order the unauthorized party to stop the sales of the counterfeit products. We have the expertise to assist you in this.
  • What should I do if someone has copied my logo/mark?
    Depending on how substantial are the similarities in the logos/marks, as a brand owner who has registered your mark, you can enforce your rights by issuing a cease & desist letter to order the unauthorized party to stop using the logo/mark.
  • What should I do if I have found out that my logo/mark is similar (unintentionally) to another business which is already in operation?
    Your mark might be acceptable if the nature of goods / services is unrelated to what is being offered by the other party. If your logo/mark is similar to your competitor or a business which offers similar goods/services to you, and if they have been in operation before you, it is advisable to amend your mark, if possible.
  • Besides business name and logo, what else can be registered as a trademark?
    In Malaysia, non-traditional mark such as scent, sound, colour, shape, 3-D marks, holograms, positioning, sequence of motion, shape of goods or their packaging or any combination thereof are registrable if they are signs that are capable of being represented graphically and capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from another.
  • I've invented a product which I believe is extraordinary and the first in the world. Is it patentable?
    An invention / product is patentable if it fulfills the criteria of:- 1) Novelty - the invention has not been disclosed anywhere in the world 2) Inventiveness - the invention does not appear obvious to the person skilled in the art, and 3) Industry applicability - the invention is applicable in any industry
  • My invention has been disclosed to the public, can I still patent my invention?"
    If the disclosure occurs within 12 months, the invention can still be filed in Malaysia without affecting the patentability criteria.
  • If my patent is granted in Malaysia, will I have rights to the entire world? How do I extend the protection to other countries?"
    Patent rights are territorial, and it will be protected in Malaysia only if the patent is granted in Malaysia. To protect the invention in other countries, you may file the application in the desired countries separately, or file a PCT application within one year from the filing date of Malaysian application.
  • What happens after filing a patent application? How long does it take for a patent to be granted?
    A patent application number will be allocated immediately after filing a patent application. The patent application will be subjected to substantive examination in which the patentability criteria will be examined. If any objections are raised, a response to overcome the objections will be required. If there is no objection, the patent will be granted. A patent application typically takes about 3 to 5 years to be granted. However, depending on the complexity of the examination report issued by the Patent Office, it may take longer.
  • How long is my patents being protected?
    The maximum term of protection for a granted patent/UI is 20 years from the filing date, subject to renewal and payment of renewal fees annually.
  • What is a utility innovation?
    A utility innovation (UI) is an IP protection right which confers the same rights and protection to an invention as a patent. However, a UI does not require the invention to meet the inventiveness criteria, and only requires novelty and industrial applicability to be fulfilled. A UI is limited to only one claim, which may result in a limited scope of protection when compared to a patent.
  • What is a PCT application?
    A Patent Cooporation Treaty (PCT) is an international patent law treaty. It provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications in each of its member countries. A PCT application can be filed if an Applicant wishes to obtain patent protection in any member countries of PCT. Filing a PCT application gives applicant an additional 18 months to decide on the countries the applicant wishes to file the application. After filing a PCT application, an International Search Report and Written Opinion will be issued for the assessment on the patentability of the invention for the Applicant's further consideration before filing in the desired countries.
  • How should I mark my patent application or granted patent on my product?
    Once you have filed a patent application, you may indicate that a patent is being pursued for your product by marking the term “Pat. Pending” or “Patent Pending” on your product or the packaging of the product. Once your patent application has been granted, you may mark the patent number on your product. For example: Malaysia Patent No. (Patent Grant No.) or some equivalent.
  • Are software inventions patentable in Malaysia?
    Whilst software inventions are not specifically prohibited in Malaysia, care should be taken to ensure the presence of technical character in the invention so that it does not fall in the non-patentable subject matter. In this regard, the Examination Guidelines states that a computer program by itself or as a record on a carrier is not patentable. The invention is patentable if the software invention makes a technical contribution to the prior art and provides a technical effect. For example, that programme-controlled machines and programme-controlled manufacturing and control processes should normally be regarded as patentable subject-matter.
  • What rights do I have over my invention after filing a patent application, while waiting for my patent to be granted?"
    While the patent is pending grant, should an infringement of the invention occurs, the applicant is allowed to send a warning letter to the potential infringer, so the potential infringer is aware of the patent application. Legal action can only be taken after the patent is granted, and the damages will be calculated from the day the applicant sent the warning letter or the publication date of the patent.
  • How long does it take to register an industrial design?
    An industrial design application takes approximately 9 - 12 months to be registered.
  • How long is an industrial design protected?
    The maximum term of protection for an industrial design is 25 years from the earliest priority date. If no priority is claimed, the term of protection is calculated from the filing date. To keep the industrial design protection in force, industrial design owners have to renew and pay renewal fees once every five years, until the 25 years protection term is up.
  • Are graphical user interface (GUI) or Icons registrable as an Industrial Design?
    Yes, GUIs and Icons are registrable. Based on recent database search of registered designs, almost all of the registered GUI/Icons are depicted with the device/product represented in broken lines – this appears to be the best practice for now, pending any further direction from the IP Office in this regard.
  • Do I need to register my work to be protected by copyright?
    No, copyright arises as of creation of a work automatically, and is a non-registrable right in Malaysia.
  • What is the duration of protection?
    The duration of protection depends on the type of work eligible for copyright. Literary, artistic and musical works are protected for the lifetime of the author plus fifty years after the death of the author, whereas the other copyright works are only protected for fifty years.
  • What is the advantage of filing copyright voluntary notification?
    Upon acceptance, a certificate will be issued to prove your ownership of copyright for the work and you can utilise that to take action against any infringement.
  • Who owns the copyright for work created under employment?
    By default, the employer will own all copyrights created by employees during employment.
  • Am I infringing an artist’s copyright if I play his/her songs in my café?
    Yes, if you play his/her songs without proper licensing. A café is considered a public and commercial setting, and hence a public performance licence will need to be obtained from the Music Authors' Copyright Protection Berhad (MACP).
  • Are softwares and mobile applications protected as copyright?
    Yes, the source code is protected as a literary work whereas the graphical user interface can be protected as an artistic work.
  • If I do not want my work to be deposited to the Copyright Registry, is there any alternative available?"
    A statutory declaration can be executed to affirm your rights.
  • Is it a copyright infringement if I use a picture that is found online for my business?
    In general, all pictures are subject to copyright and hence it is a copyright infringement. Depending on the sources, some pictures are available for free and free to use.
  • I have independently created my work but I found it to be similar to other published work, is that a copyright infringement?"
    As a general rule, if you are able to prove that you have independently created the work, it is a valid defence against copyright infringement.
  • Is it a copyright infringement if I am copying the idea of a work?
    No, idea is not protectable as a copyright. Only the form that the idea is recorded is protectable as copyright.
  • How long is a domain name valid upon registration?
    By default, a domain name registration is valid for one year but domain name owners can register for it to be valid for more than 1 year. The registration is renewable from time to time.
  • Is there any specific requirements for registration of a domain name?
    For country code top level domain name (.my), only a Malaysian entity or individual can be an owner of such top level domain name. Other top level domain names containing .gov/.edu/.org are under the control of respective governments in the relevant jurisdictions.
  • What if the domain name I wish to get is owned by others?
    You can either purchase the domain name from the owner directly, purchase through a legitimate third party provider or initiate a domain name dispute proceeding if the domain name consists of your trademark.
  • Someone copied the content of my website without my consent, what can I do?"
    Depending on the content that is being copied, it could be an infringement of copyright and/or trademark.
  • Do I need to own a trademark to register a domain name?
    No. You can register a domain name without having a trademark.
  • What should I do if someone has registered the domain name containing my trademark?
    You can initiate a domain name dispute proceeding as an attempt to get the domain name.
  • Can I register a domain name similar to a well-known mark?
    Technically, you can but it is likely to be challenged by the well-known mark owner.
  • Can an individual own a domain name?
  • What is a geographical indication?
    A geographical indication is a sign used on products produced in a certain place and which possesses the characteristics, quality or reputation of a certain place or region. Example: Sarawak Pepper, Sabah Tea, Scotch Whisky, Darjeeling Tea.
  • How long is a geographical indication valid for upon registration?
    A GI is valid for ten years from the registration date and is valid indefinitely upon renewal and payment of renewal fees every 10 years.
  • Can other people use my geographical indication?
    As long as the products produced from the same origin fulfills the quality and characteristics for claiming the geographical indication, any producer within the same area can use the geographical indication.
  • What is the difference between a trademark and a geographical indication?
    A trademark is exclusive to the owner who owns it whereas a geographical indication can be used by any producers from the same area/region. A trademark can be a letter, word, name, logo, hologram, sound, smell and more but a geographical indication can only be a name or a symbol related to places. A trademark is developed from human creativity, while a GI is not.
  • What can be protected as trade secrets?
    Any information which is not available in the public domain can be protected as trade secrets.
  • How do I protect trade secrets?
    Store the information securely and only share trade secrets after executing a non-disclosure agreement with the relevant person/party. Limit the number of people who has access to the confidential information. To ensure comprehensive protection of the information, a trade secret program can be implemented.
  • What is the advantage of protecting my information as trade secrets instead of other form of intellectual property rights?
    Information protected as trade secrets can be protected indefinitely as long as they are kept securely. For other forms of intellectual property rights like patents, there is a limited period of protection and details in relation to the invention will be published in the public domain to fulfill legal requirements. Examples of trade secrets are recipe of KFC's fried chicken and recipe of Coca-Cola.
  • What is the disadvantage of protecting my information as trade secrets?
    Once trade secrets enter the public domain, intentionally or unintentionally, all commercial value will be lost and it is not reversable.
  • What can I do if my employee disclosed my trade secrets to my competitor?
    You can apply to the court for an injunction to prevent further authorized disclosure and to prevent your competitor from utilizing the trade secrets.
  • Is my ex-employee still bound to keep the trade secrets they learned during their employment?
    In general, yes. However, it is recommended to ensure all employees are bound by non-disclosure agreements clearly stating their obligations post-employment.
  • Can new plant varieties be protected in Malaysia?
    Yes, Plant Variety Protection, also known as Plant Breeder’s Rights grants breeders of new plant varieties exclusive rights to exploit their plant varieties for a period of time. The protection of new plant varieties is governed by the Protection of New Plant Varieties Act 2004 and the Protection of New Plant Varieties Regulations 2008.
  • What are the criteria for the plant variety to be registrable?
    To be eligible for registration as a new plant variety, a newly developed plant variety must be 1) new 2) distinct 3) uniform, and 4) stable However, for a plant variety which is bred or discovered by a farmer, local community or indigenous community, the plant variety will only need to fulfill the following conditions: 1) new 2) distinct, and 3) identifiable
  • How long is my plant variety being protected?
    Once a plant variety is registered, the Breeder is granted rights to the plant variety which is new, distinct, uniform and stable for 20 years from the filing date. Plant variety which is new, distinct and identifiable will be granted rights for 15 years from the filing date. For trees and vines, the duration of protection is 25 years from the filing date. To keep the plant variety registration in force, the registration needs to be renewed and renewal fees needs to be paid annually, up to 15/20/25 years (depending on the type of registration as above).
  • How long does it take for an application to be granted?
    The estimated time for a plant variety protection application to be granted is about 4 to 5 years, depending on the type and progress of the examination. Types of examination available: Document examination On-site inspection; or Growing test
  • Once granted, will the Breeder be required to deposit a sample of the registered new plant variety?"
    While the Protection of New Plant Varieties Act 2004 states that applicants shall within time specified by the Board, deposit samples of the seed or any other propagating material of the plant variety in the quantity to be specified by the Board at a center approved by the Board (for the case of Growing Test), we have been advised that the Deposit of Sample after the First Gazette is no longer practiced to avoid any possibilities of infringement. Additionally, Section 35 of the Protection of New Plant Variety Act 2004 (Duties of a Holder), states that the breeder shall, throughout the duration of the breeder's rights:- Furnish the Board with the propagating material of the registered patent variety which is capable of reproduction whenever requested by the Board Provide the Board with facilities and information regarding the registered plant variety, without any charge, whenever requested by the Board
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