Malaysia’s National Intellectual Property Policy (NIPP)

The Malaysian government in July 2007 has officially announced and launched the much talked about National Intellectual Property Policy. The main undertaking of this policy is to develop intellectual property as a new engine growth for the enhancement of social and economic prosperity. This new policy that this will be achieved by ensuring that the intellectual property system in Malaysia will play its fundamental task in leveraging inventive activities particularly among the younger generation in meeting national and global challenges. It is also part of the national policy to entrench a strong intellectual property landscape to encourage foreign investors to Malaysia and to develop Malaysia as an IP hub.

The government’s rationale for this policy is based on the fact that the NIPP is needed as a principle guide in enacting laws and regulations for IP. This policy also ensures that all IP related activities of government agencies, research institutions, institutions of higher learning and non-governmental organizations and also private sectors are implemented.

The following are the objectives and strategies of the NIPP:

1. Highest Standard of IP Protection System

The government is aware that an efficient and effective IP protection system is necessary to ensure that attainment of protection and rights are rapid and straightforward. In order to achieve this, the administration of the Intellectual property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) will be improved and strengthen to meet the yearly increase in registration applications and also to ensure that the needs of applicants are met. MyIPO must also provide simple application procedures and speedy registration, clear registration guidelines and availability of quality public search facilitates and efficient information dissemination system in order to contribute to a high standard of IP protection.

The NIPP also upholds that Government Agencies that enforces infringements of IP rights under the Trade Description Act 1972, Optical Disc Act 2000, Trade Marks Act 1976, Patents Act 1983, Copyright Act 1987, Industrial Design Act 1996, Layout Designs of Integrated Circuits Act 2000 and lastly, Geographical Indications Act 2000, must be strong and resilient to deter repetition infringements.

2. Promotion of Commercial Exploitation of IP

The next objective of the NIPP is to promote commercial exploitation of IP as the key value creating activities that is essential to the development of an IP industry. The goal is to nurture an IP industry that is able to sustain Malaysia’s economic growth in the new era.

This objective will entail establishing a positive and thriving business environment to attract local and foreign enterprises to position the entire, if not substantial part of their IP value chain in Malaysia. The policy also believes in promoting suitable valuation methods, contractual licensing and rules to facilitate the commercial exploitation of IP.

In addition, IP rights that are not exploited by the government or large companies will be released to Small Medium Industries and individuals for commercial exploitation through licensing or assignment.

3. Development of IP Management Capabilities

The NIPP is put into place to also ensure that there is proper IP management capabilities. Hence, the strategy in achieving this is to develop a panel of specialist to be placed at all levels of IP chain activities. Also, further promoting this objective, there must be a review on existing laws and regulations as well as business practices at both the public and private sectors.

4. Development of Infrastructure for IP transaction

In order to have an efficient and successful IP industry, it does not rely only on regulatory frameworks and such. It is important also to have a highly developed financial support from the banking industry and financial institutions. Therefore, there is a vital need to review company law, securities regulation and also the banking and financial infrastructure and to take into consideration developing IP based banking and financial instruments for collateralization and securitization of IP assets. The banking and financial sector are encouraged to assist Malaysia in achieving it’s vision to be an IP hub by creating a conducive environment that provides incentives, grants, finance management for the IP industry.

5. Promoting Foreign Investments And Technology Transfer

Malaysia intends to encourage more foreign investments and technology transfer by assuring that Malaysia has a very high standard of IP protection system that guarantees protection of IP rights. It also makes certain that an investor has the opportunity to acquire returns from their investments and ensure the availability of legal channels to seek redress in the event of infringements.

6. Human Resource & Public Awareness

The policy also intends to promote human resource development and public awareness on IP through setting up a National IP institute to provide IP training programs in the area of rights acquisition, enforcement, dispute settlement, management, valuation and licensing as well as general awareness. The government also has plans to educate the younger generation on IP awareness through educational programs that will be introduced into primary and secondary schools.

In conclusion, the effective implementation of the NIPP will be one of the important factors that will mould Malaysia into a strong IP hub that is able to meet global IP challenges. Overall, these developments will help spur the nation’s growth economically and socially. As a consequence, this will help Malaysia reach her vision of being a developed nation by 2020.