Malaysia - Patent

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In Malaysia, patent protection is obtainable by way of either entering the national phase of a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application or filing a direct national application. 

1. Legislations:
Patents Act 1983 (Act 291). 

2. Patentability Criteria:
A patent has to fulfil the following conditions in order to claim protection.

  •  it is new

  •  it involves an inventive step

  •  it is industrially applicable

Non-Patentable Subject Matter: 
An invention is not patentable if it contains the following:

  •  discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods,

  •  plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plant or animals,

  •  schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing mental acts, and

  •  methods for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body.

3. Utility Innovations:
The Patent Malaysia system also provides for the grant of utility innovation certificates. A utility innovation must fulfil the criteria of novelty and industrial applicability (but not inventiveness). A utility innovation certificate may only have one claim and subject to evidence of commercial/industrial use in Malaysia, enjoys the same duration of protection like a patent. 

4. Membership:
√ – Paris Convention
√ – PCT 

Malaysia is a member of the Paris Convention since 1989, whereby applications from convention countries will be subject to the same priority date in Malaysia. The application for priority has to be made within six months of the first application in a convention country. 

Malaysia is also a member of the PCT since 2006. An applicant who has made an international patent application may file and/or prosecute the patent application during its national phase entry into Malaysia within 30 months from the filing date of the international application or from the earliest priority date of the application if a priority is claimed. 

5. Rule of Priority:
Unless requested by an Examiner, there is no requirement to file a certified copy of any priority application. In determining the priority of patents, “first to file” is the rule for Patent Malaysia. 

6. Duration:
Under Patent Malaysia, patents filed prior to 1st August 2001 are awarded protection up to 15 years from the date of grant or 20 years calculated from the filing date, whichever expires later. For patents filed on or after 1st August 2001, the duration is 20 years calculated from the filing date (for a direct national application) and from the international filing date (for a PCT national phase application)

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