Thursday, January 10, 2019

New MyIPO Chairman and Director General

Dr Rozhan Othman (Image: The Edge)

Dr Rozhan Othman was appointed as MyIPO Chairman from 12 Dec 2018. He has more than 30 years of experience in business management, especially talent management. Bernama reported that Dr Rozhan is an advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah. Rozhan has a PhD from the University College of Dublin.

He has published several articles and gave an interview on talent management in BFM (

 Mohd Roslan signing in front of Shamsiah, the former D-G (Image: MyIPO)

Datuk Mohd Roslan Mahayudin was appointed as MyIPO Director-General from 2 Jan 2019. Mohd Roslan was the Director of Enforcement in Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism. He has served the government for more than 31 years.

He has conducted raids on domestic trade, price control and counterfeit products. Roslan holds a law degree from Universiti Teknologi Mara. In 2016, he signed a pledge with 8 online market place to remove the sale of counterfeit software (


State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) is now known as China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) since 28 Aug 2018. State Administration of Industry and Commerce (SAIC), formerly a separate registrar of trademarks has merged with CNIPA.

In Chinese, CNIPA is known as 国家 知识产权局 (guojia zhisi chan quan ju) which literally means national intellectual property rights administration. The word 局(ju) also means office, a Chinese noun for post office, police station or education bureau. It is believed the abbreviation CNIPA was chosen so that it is distinctive over Canadian IP Office (CIPO).

Xi Jinping pointed out that protection of property rights (chan quan), especially intellectual property rights, is important to create a favorable business environment.

In his address on 29 Aug 2018, CNIPA Commissioner Shen Changyu, the former SIPO Commisioner declared that a number of core technologies with independent IP rights were developed in fields such as telecommunication, aviation, railway and nuclear energy.

In 2017, the number of patent applications is 1,382,000, representing a growth of 14.2%, said Shen. Shen added that there are 67,000 patent enforcement cases, a growth of 36.3%. The number of patent firms reached 1,824 and patent agents reached 16,367.

"IP administration program was successfully carried out in 6 cities namely Xiamen, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Changsha, Suzhou and Shanghai. The program provides a one stop centre for express examination, rights affirmation and financing to support development in key industries," added Shen.

E-Commerce Patent Enforcement and Right Assertion Coordination Center, Zhejiang was setup to enhance IP protection in e-commerce. He proudly declared that Cambodia become the first country in the world to recognize the grant of Chinese patent. CNIPA has signed PPH cooperation with 23 countries, including Malaysia.

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) is an initiative to accelerate examination of patent applications if examination work was cleared at a corresponding patent office.

Currently, MyIPO has bilateral PPH agreements with Japan Patent Office (JPO), European Patent Office (EPO) and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). If a patent application receives clear examination in JPO, EPO or CNIPA, the examination result can be submitted as a reference to MyIPO for PPH. The reverse is also true, if a patent application receives clear examination in MyIPO, the examination result can be submitted as a reference to JPO, EPO or CNIPA.

PPH was introduced to reduce the work load of patent examiners. We were made to understand that examiners of JPO, EPO or CNIPA would still need to search prior arts in local languages after receiving PPH request.

A similar arrangement was also formed in ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) among Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Lao, Thailand and Vietnam.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Patent Analytics on Australia Research Activity

IP Australia published a patent analytics report on the Australian research sector in 2016 which analyses intellectual property (IP) rights holdings of publicly funded research organisations (PFROs) in Australian and provides an overview of innovation from the Australian research sector. There are 40 universities, 52 medical research institutes (MRIs) and 5 publicly funded research agencies (PFRAs) included in the analysis.

The university sector lodged 4,363 patent applications and 2,429 PCT applications from 2000-14. Over the same period, PFRAs lodged 1,715 patent applications and 1,026 PCT applications. MRIs file 501 patent applications and 481 PCT applications. Universities, as a whole when compared to PFRAs and MRIs, are more likely to lodge patent applications in order to buy time to explore the value of the invention.

After Australia, the target market for inventions are USA, Europe and Canada.

The top 5 university applicants are University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Monash University, University of New South Wales and University of Melbourne.

Research partners can be identified when there are two or more applicants. There are between 23 and 25 per cent of applications having co-applicants. This includes university-university collaboration as well as university-industry collaboration. Most collaboration occurs domestically with 773 applications (77 percent).

Top 5 technology breakdown of Australia research organisations:
1. Pharmaceuticals
2. Medical technology
3. Biotechnology
4. Chemical engineering
5. Measurement

IP Australia

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Malaysia Toilet Innovation in IPIEC Global 2018

A self-sustaining toilet system based on solar energy and electrochemistry was selected as finalist from Malaysia for IPIEC Global 2018. The innovation by Nanopac can turn human waste into hydrogen gas and fertilizer.

Nanopac chief executive officer Datuk Dr Cheng Kok Leong said under a three years contract from 2017, Nanopac would sell its nano-solar cells and self-sustaining toilet system technologies to GC Global. He added that these technologies will then be sold and marketed to GC Global's network in Europe, United States, Africa and Asia.

The public are invited to vote for their favorite innovations in IPIEC. You can place one vote everyday until 12 Dec 2018.

IPIEC Global or Intellectual Property Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest promotes revolutionary technologies, and raise awareness of technology trends and IP concepts. Organized by WTOIP GLOBAL, IPIEC GLOBAL 2018 is accredited as part of the Maker in China contest series guided by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT).

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why patent drugs

Dr Schreitmueller

BIG pharmaceutical companies have often been accused of “extending” their drug patents for as long as possible, depriving many patients of cheaper generic versions of drugs that could potentially save their lives or improve their conditions.

Called evergreening, NGOs had said these companies tend to “extend” drug patent just before the 20-year expiry period by making only a slight modification.

Dr Thomas Schreitmueller, Regulatory Policy Head at Roche Global, argues this is not necessarily the case. While this may be the contention for generic drugs, it is not for biological products, says Dr Schreitmueller who is based in Basel, Switzerland, citing the difference between trastuzumab and trastuzumab emtansine. While Trastuzumab can slow or stop the growth of breast cancer, the newer trastuzumab emtansine can kill breast cancer cells, he says. With trastuzumab, patients will still have to get a separate chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells but with the newer trastuzumab emtansine, patients do not need to go for a separate chemotherapy, Dr Schreitmueller explains.

In this case, he tells The Star in an interview, “You clearly change the purpose of the molecule. And this is different from ever-greening.”

Dr Schreitmueller points to another example of innovation – the first generation Interferon alfa-2a for treating Hepatitis C, which is made of pure protein, but years later, the protein was modified by pegylation (chemical modification to the protein). This changed the pharmacokinetic (bodily absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs) profile of the product.
With the pegylation immunogenicity in patients being lower, the dosing frequency could be lowered, he says, adding that the “new” product also shows a higher efficacy compared with the former version.

According to Dr Schreitmueller, an originator product is more expensive than a biosimilar because when developing the use for the antibody for treating each of the diseases or condition (indications), the originator company will have to carry out clinical studies for each of the indications while this is not required for biosimilar products.

A biosimilar company may extrapolate positive data from one clinical similarity assessment in one indication to all other indications of the originator product, besides the needed demonstration of analytical and preclinical similarities, he says.

In developing a new drug for 10 indications, a pharmaceutical company may have to do more than 10 clinical studies while a manufacturer of a biosimilar product (a biologic medical product that is almost identical copy of an original) may have to do only two, he says.

There is also a low risk of failing to demonstrate safety and efficacy for the biosimilar product as this was already demonstrated by the originator product, he says.

Dr Schreitmueller also points out that a high level of similarity between a biosimilar and the originator product was important to mitigate the risk of interchangeability (switching), particularly with cancer products.

“You cannot do with biologics what you may do with synthetic drugs that are not immunogenic because if the patient has developed an immune response to the biosimilar after a switch and thus, does not work anymore, this immune response may also neutralise the originator product and it also will not work anymore for the patient.

“So there is no point switching back to the originator product,” he says.

However, he says for rheumatoid arthritis, patients may switch to other treatments if one fails because there are many other options available.

In view of such delicate situation with biologics and biosimilars, Dr Schreitmueller urges the Malaysian authorities to be more transparent in its regulatory decision making by coming up with an objective evaluation report and not leave the education of the products to companies or other stakeholders.

This is crucial for physicians and patients to make unbiased treatment decisions, he stresses.
“In Europe, whenever the European Medicine Agency (EMA) approved a pharmaceutical product, it will publish an evaluation report.

“In the report, the physicians, patients and other stakeholders are able to find information such as the results of the clinical studies, preclinical and analytical studies with conclusion from EMA as well as the reason why a certain product is approved.”

Pharma co-vigilant (monitoring of side-effects) is also important after a product is released into the market, he adds.

Asked how pharmaceutical companies can address the issue of high drug cost that is inaccessible to many patients and and put a burden on health care systems, Dr Schreitmueller says in cases without competition, it would be useful to identify specific patients where the drugs would work with a high likelihood, such as through tumour gene analysis.

“Currently, we may have a drug, such as for lung cancer approved, but it may not work on all lung cancer patients.

“If we are able to treat only a specifically identified population, a sub group, this will make the system more efficient and achieve cost effectiveness,” he says.

In cases where we have competition such as biosimilars, the Government buying several products from the same molecule instead of allowing only single win contract, enables and maintains competition.

On NGOs arguing that most of the discovered compounds were researched in public universities – thus paid by tax payers and should not cause drugs developed to be too expensive – Dr Schreitmueller points out that these institutions are not necessarily involved in the costly development efforts leading to a safe and effective product, which are usually done by the pharmaceutical companies. - The Star

Thursday, September 20, 2018

China-ASEAN Trademark and Brand Forum in Nanning

The year 2018 marks the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, the 15th anniversary of China-ASEAN Expo, and the first China-ASEAN Innovation Year. The event, held on September 13 in Nanning, was jointly sponsored by the State Administration for Market Regulation, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the People's Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The theme of the forum is “Trademark, Brand Strategy and Economic Development”. 300 participants, including the heads of relevant government agencies from 9 ASEAN countries, representatives of non-governmental organizations, experts and scholars, relevant national ministries and commissions, heads of industrial and commercial bureaus of some provinces (municipalities, districts, and Municipalities with Independent Planning Status under the National Social and Economic Development) of China, well-known domestic economists and entrepreneurs, etc., officially gathered in the Green City.