China remains among the top destinations for any business looking to internationalise, and the business environment there is still evolving in terms of both production and consumption. Its growing capacity to produce sophisticated manufactures and complex services is matched by an increasingly affluent domestic consumer base that demands state-of-the-art, internationally popular brands and products.
Although stories of Chinese counterfeits and brand infringements are still regular news in international media, the IPR system in China has seen considerable development in the last decade. This is propelled to a large extent by domestic industries innovating like never before and keen to protect their new technologies, and also those trying their chances with as many IPR filings as possible in order to improve their status or satisfy local government innovation drives. Whatever the reason, the number of patent applications shows the trend clearly: a 20.5% year-on-year increase for 2015 to more than 1,124,000 applications. Also, foreign patent applications are increasing fast, boasting a 14.9% year-on-year increase for 2015. Continue reading “Back to the Basics Series: Design Patents and Utility Models in China” »
Semiconductor topographies, or integrated circuit layout-designs (as they are known in Malaysia), are configurations of computer chips and other semiconductors which determine how they function. Layout-designs are specifically excluded from the list of articles which can be registered as industrial designs and are afforded their own category of protection, which is governed by the Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act (2000).
Malaysia is a South-East Asian nation consisting of sections on the Malay Peninsula and on the island of Borneo, with the South China Sea lying between them. Malaysia’s population of over 30 million works in the world’s 20th most competitive economy (as of 2014-15), with a PPP GDP of $747 billion, making it the third largest in ASEAN and the 28th largest worldwide. Malaysia’s newly-industrialised market economy has consistently posted impressive gains, averaging 6.5% growth per annum over the period 1957-2005.
In Malaysia, no pure information can be considered property. However, as a party to TRIPS and other agreements, Malaysia does have laws which prevent the unauthorised disclosure of information. This information is commonly referred to as “trade secrets,” although it is called “confidential information” in Malaysian law. This definition means that trade secrets cannot be proactively registered, but can form the basis of action taken against others. Confidential information in Malaysia can also take the form of virtually any other confidential information which was secret and protected by contractual agreements.
Geographical indications (GIs) are any type of symbol, mark, etc. which is used to identify the country, region, or area from which goods originate and to which is assigned a given reputation. For example, Champagne is one of France’s most famous GIs, and goods marked as Champagne must be produced in the Champagne region and are reputed to be of high quality. Similar products not from the area must content themselves with descriptions such as “Made in Champagne-style” or “sparkling wine.” Malaysia boasts some indigenous GIs, such as Sarawak Peppers and Sabah Seaweed. In this article we’ll be looking at how you can protect your GIs in Malaysia.