There is a report this week about Malaysia's "IP Monetization" program as articulated by PM Najib Razak. From that news, "We need to be competitive in our bid to become a high-income nation that is not dependent on traditional and physical resources but is based on new sources of wealth such as intellectual property.
"To ensure the country's continued momentum in making intellectual property a new source of wealth, we have a responsibility to be more innovative and creative as well as to constantly create value added in order to come up with high-impact products and technologies for the local and global markets," he said at the National Intellectual Property Awards 2015 today.
Najib, who is also finance minister, said the effectiveness of initiatives to strengthen the national intellectual property ecosystem was shown by the 6% average annual rise in applications.
This shows the potential of intellectual property to contribute to national economic growth, he said, adding the government had agreed to consider providing an allocation to encourage intellectual property rights applications as part of efforts to raise the number of registrations. Some 42% of intellectual property rights applications are from within the country.
Well and good. Kuala Lumpur is just 4 hours away by car from Singapore, the center of IPR protection and the richest economy in the ASEAN. The interdependence between the two in trade and investments, both physical and non-physical/intellectual commodities, is high.
More and more, the world is moving towards high value products and services production and trade. New mobile phones, flat or curved tv, other appliances and furnitures with sleek, modern or exotic designs, etc. are all guided by new ideas that were non-existent and unimaginable just a few decades ago. And these ideas are protected by various forms of IP protection -- patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, industrial designs, circuit designs -- to protect the innovators and inventive people and enterprises from copycat ones.
The program or strategy is good, except that PM Razak is still embroiled in a huge corruption scandal that greatly diminishes his credibility and effectivity in initiating new programs.
On a related note, I saw from a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website the various IP laws and IP-related laws of Malaysia.
They have a law for each type of IP. Being a non-lawyer, I am not sure if this is better than a single, big and long law that covers all types of IP that we have here, the IP Code of the Philippines (RA 8293) enacted in 1997. One advantage of one law for each type of IP perhaps is that if we revise or amend in the future one aspect, say only the patent system or copyright system, it will not affect the whole big law -- and cause some confusion.
Nonetheless, establishing clear property rights for the people, physical or non-physical property, is one of the most important functions of any government. More important than endless welfarism and political populism.
IPR and Innovation 21: Recent News + IPN Assistance to Asian Think Tanks, February 15, 2015
IPR and Innovation 24, The US-China IP cooperation dialogue, August 18, 2015