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Boon IP Enterprise
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Persiaran Jalil 1,
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On 15 Nov 2020, Malaysia signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) along with 9 ASEAN members, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It is the largest regional free trade agreement in the world which accounts for 30 percent of world population and economy.
It aims to reduce tariffs and cost for trade between countries. It also touches on intellectual property.
In 2018, Malaysia has signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). According to CPTPP, members must provide patent term extension for delays in pharmaceutical approval. The copyright term for published works is 70 years minimum. Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Singapore and New Zealand have ratified the CPTPP. Malaysia has not given any indication on when the CPTPP will be ratified.
I have participated in several CPTPP discussions. A few people have raised displeasure over the patent term extension. Malaysia produces a number of generic medicines.
In RCEP, there is no patent term extension for pharmaceutical delays. The copyright term for published works is 50 years minimum, in line with the Berne Convention.
Malaysia is centrally located in both RCEP and CPTPP. Shall Malaysia ratify CPTPP? It depends on whether Malaysia wants to be a nation that consumes IP or produces IP.
Tsai (lower left) and his colleagues
Peter Tsai, a researcher from University of Tennessee, invented a method of corona electrostatic charging which resulted in the creation of N95 mask. The mask has a layer of filter that blocks and contain 95% of submicron particles. The technique involves an electric field to charge non-woven fibers.
The method is widely used in industries over three decades in products such as HVAC filters and medical face masks.
"This respirator was designed for construction workers, and it was designed to be for one-time use," says Tsai in an interview with WYMT.
The mask attracted the attention of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It was found that the filter can capture viruses and bacteria. The filter is then recommended to be used for healthcare workers.
N95 mask from University of Tennessee
According to University of Tennessee, Tsai has 12 US patents and over 20 commercial license agreement, including four licensed to global companies.
"I'm bombarded with questions," says Tsai in an interview with SCMP. "My customers are based around the world. I work around the clock". Demand for face masks has skyrocketed.
Tsai came out of retirement to find a way for the N95 masks to be reused. He provided a report which proposed ways to clean and reuse N95 masks without compromising the electrostatic charge required for particle filtration.
He found out that dry heat of 70 degrees Celcius can decontaminate N95 masks without diminishing particle filtration. The method was validated by National Institutes of Health. An oven can be used to decontaminate N95 masks.