Sunday, September 13, 2015

IPR and Innovation 25, Malaysia's IP Monetization strategy

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.

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Kevin Koo said...

Hi Nonoy, thanks for writing about Malaysia's IP Monetization strategy. Being from Malaysia, I must say that the PM's comments are nothing new. Intellectual Property has been touted as a major thrust since Tun Dr. Mahathir's time. However now is the age of startups and disruption, and with Malaysia's rising startup ecosystem (they are trying to nurture one), there is a possibility that IP could be given more emphasis than before. You did rightly point out the scandal that is plaguing the premier. Hope that gets settled soon. As for the various IP being under different statutes, we've not had any problem with it so far. But you might be right that it streamlines the whole approach towards IP by making all IP under one statute. I see that happening elsewhere. In 2012, Malaysia combined the Rules of Court for High Court and lower courts into the Rules of Court 2012. My own blog is at

Bienvenido Oplas Jr said...

Thanks Kevin. I saw your blog, nice. Will visit it regularly.