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[This is a sponsored article with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia.]

Every now and then, accusations or infringement cases crop up around brands “stealing” or “copying” another’s creative work, design, or even name.

One noteworthy case of this happened in 2001, when ChipsMore, the British chocolate chip cookies brand, successfully sued the Malaysian ‘ChipsPlus’ for trademark infringement. The case detailed that ChipsPlus was selling equivalent products under a similar name.

A trademark is a type of intellectual property (IP) consisting of a recognisable sign, design, or expression that identifies and distinguishes a product or service. McDonald’s golden arches or Nike’s swoosh are some examples of trademarks.

As ChipsMore already had its trademark registered in Malaysia since 1990 and an established brand presence, the High Court decided in favour of ChipsMore.

Image Credit: NBS Intellectual Sdn Bhd

Of course, the above is an example of an infringement suit involving a large corporation in Malaysia equipped with the funds and legal team to safeguard its IP.

But when it comes to smaller creators, accusations rarely get escalated to court, such as these fashion design cases we’ve covered involving disputes made by smaller designers against Vivy Yusof and Christy Ng.

The World International Property Organization suggested that smaller creators in the fashion industry make little use of national and regional laws to register and protect designs. 

This may be because the shorter life cycle of such products may not justify the financial cost involved in legally registering and protecting them.

Although that’s regarding the fashion industry specifically, the same scenario likely applies to small businesses and creators in other sectors too, who don’t think about registering an IP to protect their work and ideas until it’s too late.

The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) wants to change that.

Image Credit: MyIPO

In conjunction with World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, Malaysia’s official IP organisation is hosting a three-day event to educate the public on the importance of IP.

Called Hari Harta Intelek Negara 2024 (National Intellectual Property Day 2024), the free event is taking place in MyIPO Tower at PJ Sentral, from April 24 to 26, 2024.

Here’s why IPs matter on an economic scale

Malaysia is home to an increasing number of knowledge-intensive startups, especially in the sectors of agriculture and biotech. That’s according to an analysis published in The Malaysian Reserve by a UK-based research organisation specialising in international innovation and trade policy.

The source detailed that these innovations bring immense opportunities for local entrepreneurs and startups. If the products, services, tech, and the like are registered as patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other forms of IP, they can therefore be sold to larger corporations to scale them.

This model is used frequently in Silicon Valley, where innovators will introduce an idea, grow the business, and then sell their company to a larger company.

The above source stated that this practice is key to sustainable economic growth.

Image Credit: MyIPO

And that’s what MyIPO intends to expand on at National Intellectual Property Day 2024, which has the theme of Harta Intelek Nadi Malaysia Madani (Intellectual Property at the Heart of Malaysia Madani).

It aims to recognise the creativity and innovation among Malaysians while educating participants on the importance of registering IPs, through award ceremonies and seminars.

Learn about all things IP

As we’ve detailed above, sufficient funding and support can be major barriers faced by innovators, creators, and SMEs when getting their IPs protected.

Thus, it’s worth highlighting that help can be found via public and private means, like MyIPO’s event, for example.

National Intellectual Property Day 2024 will bring together stakeholders in various sectors to encourage and support business owners, innovators, and creators in registering IPs. 

The stakeholders that’ll be present at the event include government agencies, businesses, academia, and the legal community to share insights on the topic at hand.

For example, you’ll get to hear talks on how IPs can provide you with the tools to safeguard your rights. There will also be activities and workshops you can participate in to learn how to navigate legal frameworks and maximise the value of your intellectual assets.

You’ll also get to learn from the success stories of innovators and creators about their inventions and works that are registered in Malaysia. 

Hopefully, these stories can be the push you need to get your IP registered, and in turn, drive Malaysia’s economic competitiveness.

Image Credit: MyIPO

Moreover, you’ll get to partake in networking opportunities that could lead to advantageous business collaborations.

Leading up to the three-day event at MyIPO Tower, you can already get a head start at building your knowledge by participating in virtual talks hosted by MyIPO, which you can keep up with on its Facebook page

Ultimately, while registering an IP may require quite an initial investment, the potential benefits could be substantial for your company’s competitive edge in the long run.

  • Learn more about the National Intellectual Property Day 2024 event here.
  • Read about other stories on Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: MyIPO

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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)