Patenting Inventions and Tademarks 3/3

 The Three Types of Patents


A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a prodUct or a process that provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

For a patent to be granted, an invention must have the following features:

  1. Be new, which means that the invention has not been publicly disclosed in any form, anywhere in the world
  2. Involves an inventive step, that is to say, the invention must not be obvious to someone with knowledge and experience in the technological field of the invention
  3. Be industrially applicable, meaning it can be made or used in any kind of industry.

A patent is protected 20 years from the date of filing. But, there are things that cannot be patented, i.e. they are non-patentable:

  1. discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods
  2. plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals, other than man-made living microorganisms, microbiological processes and the products of such microorganism processes
  3. schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games
  4. methods for the treatment of animal or human body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practised on the human or animal body

2. Utility innovation

A utility innovation is an exclusive right granted for a minor invention whic does not require it to satisfy the test of inventiveness as required of a pafor a utility innovation to be granted it only has to be new. A utility innovation is protected 10+5+5 years from the date of filing upon proof of working.

3. Trade Mark

A Trade Mark is a mark which distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from another. A mark includes words, logos, pictures, names, letters, numbers or a combination of these. A Trade Mark is used as a marketing tool to enable customers to choose a product or services in the marketplace.

Source: Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia

Malaysian Invention and Intellectual Property Organisations

The Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS)

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that has played a major role in promoting invention in Malaysia is MINDS, the acronym for the Malaysian Invention and Design Society. Founded in 1986, the Malaysian Invention and Design Society is the largest body in Malaysia representing individuals, universities and companies who pursue excellence in invention, creativity, innovation, research and development, and industrial design. MINDS is responsible for promoting high standards of invention and design, fostering professionalism and encouraging continuing professional development amongst its members.

The objectives of MINDS are as follows:

  1. To encourage creative thinking and the spirit of invention among the people and businesses of Malaysia
  2. To promote and enhance the development and utilisation of Malaysian inventions and designs
  3. To provide advice and guidance to individual inventors and designers as well as companies involved in research and development
  4. To offer support and guidance in the commercialisation of new inventions and product ideas
  5. To provide professional development and training programs to enhance competitiveness

MINDS provides a platform from which inventors and designers are able to generate ideas and successfully commercialise them into leading brands. MINDS is active nationally and internationally and associated with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations. MINDS’ vision is to make Malaysia the centre of excellence for inventions and industrial designs through MINDS, and to encourage every Malaysian to be inventive and optimise each and every Malaysian invention for the benefit of society. Its mission is to encourage Malaysians to be creative and inventive and advise, guide and assist in the utilisation of their inventions and designs.

The success of MINDS comes from the active participation of its members in activities and events jointly organised for the benefit of its members. Such events include:

  1. Training and seminars – MINDS has an active schedule of training events and seminars with the aim of education and upgrading the skills and knowledge of our members.
  2. ITEX – The International Invention and Technology Exhibition is an annual event which attracts both national and international audience of inventors, venture capitalists, universities, companies and experts in the fields of R&D. ITEX coincides with an annual conference which features prominent speakers from around the world.
  3. Worldwide forums and exhibitions – MINDS is an active member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the International Federation of Inventors Associations (IFIA).

Source: MINDS website

The Malaysian Association of Research Scientists (MARS)

The Malaysian Association of Research Scientists (MARS) was formed in the year 1995. It is an organisation registered under the SOCIETIES ACT 1966 MALAYSIA. It is an association of Research and Development (R & D) Scientists and Technologists in the Public Service, corporatised Research Institutes, universities, other institutes of higher learning and the Private Sectors. MARSorganises the Malaysian inventor s participation in the Exhibition of New Techniques and Products in Geneva, Seoul International Invention Fair in Seoul, Korea and International Invention Fair of the Middle East in Kuwait. The association’s objectives are as follows:

  1. To promote the advancement of research and development in science and technology.
  2. To promote among members, professional communication through technical publications and scientific meetings.
  3. To represent the interests of Research and Development (R & D) scientists and technologists through dialogue with other government bodies and to assist the government in providing advice on matters regarding Research and Development.
  4. To represent the interests of the Senior Officers’ Association of research and development institutions in public services.
  5. To enhance the professional competence of these scientists and technologists.
  6. To encourage education and training at all levels in the fields of science and technology.
  7. To maintain close liaison with other professionals.
  8. To maintain close liaison with other professional, scientific and technological organisations.
  9. To promote networking through social, recreational and sports activities.

Membership of the association is open to all qualified personnel with an interest in Research and Development (R&D) in the fields of science and technology who are willing to share the objectives of the Association. There are five categories of membership namely; ordinary, life, associate, honorary and corporate.

Source: MARS website Malaysian Association of Creativity and Innovation

Malaysian Association of Creativity and Innovation (MACRI)

the organisation lists the following as their function:

  1. To complement the Government’s initiatives in instilling the innovative culture and facilitate the creation of a greater pool of Malaysian innovations.
  2. To promote creativity and inventiveness through workshops, training and other knowledge based programs.
  3. To recognise and reward innovators through innovation contest and award schemes.
  4. To create more platforms and avenues for innovators to showcase new ideas.
  5. To provide assistance, advice and support to innovators in developing, protecting and commercialising their innovations.
  6. To foster closer rapport between innovators and the business community.
  7. To establish an institute that will nurture and develop creative and innovative talents in a structured and sustained manner.
  8. MACRI accepts membership from Malaysians and non-Malaysian, as well as companies and institutions that have direct interest in matters concerning creativity and innovation.


Source: MACRI website

Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MylPO)

Prior to 1983, intellectual property rights (IPR) in Malaysia was administered by Pejabat Cap Dagangan dan Jaminhak. This Office changed its name to Pejabat Ikp Dagangan dan Paten in 1983 and was placed under the jurisdiction of 1^6 then Ministry of Trade and Industry. On 27 October 1990, the Ministry  was structured and the Office was placed under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and changed its name to Intellectual property Division. The Division was tasked to administer Patents Act 1983, Trade Marks Act 1976, and Copyright Act 1987. The Industrial Designs Act 1996 came into force in 1999, followed by the Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act 2000. In 2001, the Geographical Indications Act 2000 came into force. To respond to the development of intellectual property at domestic and global levels. the Division was corporatised on 3 March 2003 and known as the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (PHIM), with the enforcement of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia Act 2002. The Corporation took an important first step of rebranding when the acronym PHIM became MylPo on 3 March 2005 at the inaugural National Intellectual Property Day.

Objectives of MylPO are as follows:

  1. establishing a strong and effective administration;
  2. strengthening intellectual property laws;
  3. providing comprehensive and user-friendly information on intellectual property;
  4. promoting public awareness programmes on the importance of intellectual property;
  5. providing advisory services on intellectual property.

MyIPO depends on the following laws to perform its functions effectively:

  1. Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia Act 2002 (Act 617)
  2. Trade Marks Act 1976 (Act 175)
  3. Patents Act 1983 (Act 291)
  4. Copyright Act 1987 (Act 332)
  5. Industrial Designs Act 1996 (Act 552)
  6. Layout Designs and Integrated Circuit Act 2000 (Act 601)
  7. Geographical Indications Act 2000 (Act 602)

Malaysian Intellectual Property Association (MIPA)

The Malaysian Intellectual Property Association (MIPA) was registered as a Society under the Societies Act 1966 on 21st December 1989 vide Registration No. 1017/89.

The objectives of MIPA are as follows:

  1. To foster ties of mutual friendship and understanding among those who are practising in the field of intellectual and industrial property law and through such ties to promote the proper protection and development of intellectual and industrial property law in Malaysia and in the Asian region.
  2. To regulate through by-laws or otherwise the professional practice, etiquette, conduct and discipline of the Members.
  3. To consider all manner of questions affecting intellectual and industrial property law and/or the interest of the Association.
  4. To engage in activities in conjunction with other bodies or associations within the limits of the Association’s objects and to arrange reciprocal concession and co-operation with other such bodies and associations.
  5. To arrange social and recreational activities for Members of the Association and generally by all manner of means to promote knowledge of intellectual and industrial property law by lectures, discussions, books, correspondences, pamphlets, dissemination of information or otherwise.
  6. To seek affiliation with Regional or International bodies with objects similar to the objects of the Association and to participate in the activities of such Regional or International bodies. Generally, MIPA caters for the interests of owners, practitioners and teachers of Intellectual Property Rights and related rights.

MIPA representatives sit on committees relating to IP legislation and enforcement in the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. In addition, MIPA works closely with the Division of Intellectual Property in that Ministry.

MIPA has also been recognised as the NGO for Malaysia by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Under MIPA’s umbrella functions the country group of the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA) and the ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (ASEAN IPA)

Source: MIPA web-site

International Federation of Inventor’s Associations (IFIA)

IFIA is the universal acronym for the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization created by seven European inventor associations in 1968. Today, its members come from more than 80 countries. IFIA is the only organization which groups inventors associations worldwide, and a unique spokesman for inventors. The organisation enjoys observer status at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), as well as observer status (Special Category – Technology) at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), both based in Geneva, Switzerland. IFIA is also a member of the Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office (SACEPO), in Munich, Germany.

IFIA’s  objectives are as follows:

  1. To improve the status of inventors at national and international levels
  2. To promote cooperation between inventor associations.

IFIA’s main activities include the following:

  1. publication of reference books, guides, surveys, studies
  2. conferences, seminars, workshops, expert group meetings, lectures
  3. competitions and awards for inventions
  4. illustrative exhibits related to inventors & inventions
  5. assistance in the creation of inventor associations
  6. consultative services
  7. creation of international networking among inventors
  8. promotion of inventions through Internet

Source: IFIA web-site

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations. It is dedicated to developing a balanced and accessible international intellectual property (IP) system, which rewards creativity, stimulates innovation and contributes to economic development while safeguarding the public interest.

WIPO was established by the WIPO Convention in 1967 with a mandate from its member states to promote the protection of IP throughout the world through cooperation among states and in collaboration with other international organizations. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. WIPO’s vision is that IP is an important tool for the economic, social and cultural development of all countries. This shapes its mission to promote the effective use and protection of IP worldwide. Strategic goals are set out in a four yearly Medium Term Plan and refined in the biennial Program and Budget document.

Source: WIPO web-site


Leo, A. M (2015). On Invention. Mindskill management and Consultancy. Kuala Lumpur.

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