Sunday, November 25, 2007

International Halal Mark

Muslims in US are organizing an online petition for International Halal mark. Details can be viewed at

Can Malaysia license its Halal mark worldwide?

Patent Search Tutorial

Found this informative video to search US patent. It also briefly introduces the format of a patent specification.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Distinguishing Invention and Design

Occasionally, I get questions to explain the difference between invention and design. Both invention and design are used widely to refer new product or new technology. However, from a technical point of view invention and design are two separate concepts. Invention refers to functional aspect of a product while design refers to visual aspect of a product. Invention of a new product or new technology may refer to one of the following criteria:

1. new physical feature.
2. new combination or arrangement of old feature.
3. new use of an old feature.

Shoppers used to hand carry baskets which can carry small amount of goods. Goodman introduced a shopping trolley (or cart), which is a large wire basket with wheels, so that shoppers can buy more goods without being burdened by the weight of the goods. He introduced a new way for people to shop. He introduced a new function for a large basket with wheels. The shopping trolley is an invention.

The shape, configuration, pattern or ornamental aspect of an article is referred as design. Since the shopping trolley has new visual appeal than it is also considered a new design.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Malaysia's Most Valuable Brands

Local financial institutions lead the Malaysia's Most Valuable Brands conducted by global brand consultancy, Interbrand. Maybank led the pack valued at RM9.6 billion. Public Bank at second place is valued at RM6.9 billion, CIMB at sixth place is valued at RM3.4 billion and Hong Leong at eighth place is valued at RM3.1 billion. Telecommunications institution are also highly valued in the study. Maxis is third valued at RM5.3 billion, Celcom is fifth valued at RM4.1 billion and Digi is tenth at RM2.1 billion. Gaming giant Genting is fourth, valued at RM4.6 billion and entertainment network Astro is seventh, valued at RM3.3 billion. Auto car maker Perodua is valued ninth with RM 2.4 billion, indicating Malaysia's success with Myvi. The valuation involves public disclosed audited accounts, hence privately owned brand is not included in the valuation.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

National IP Day

National IP Day was launched by PM Abdullah on 27 April 2007. He expressed his hope that the patent office will speed up patent granting. "I believe that if the approval process could be simplified, more producers and innovators will be interested to apply for patents. This will enhance research commercialisation and subsequently, the country's innovative capability. Hence, Malaysians will one day be known as technology inventors rather than technology users only," he added.

PM Abdullah also wishes that the private sector make use of local innovations for commercialization. I will like to propose that the patent office set up an open database for prospective industries to view Malaysian patents. The database can serve as a marketing effort to promote Malaysia as a R&D hub. Advanced countries, including Singapore allows their patents to be viewed. I have prepared patent specifications for universities and research organizations. Most of the patents are good innovations. If the patents can be easily accessed than the commercialization effort can be intensified.


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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Selecting Patent Agents or Patent Lawyers in Malaysia

According to WIPO Handbook, patent agents are usually professionals trained in the field of science and technology to prepare patent specifications. Patent specifications define the scope of the invention. It is a legal document as comprehensive as a sales and purchase agreement when you buy a house. However, when the Patent Act is introduced, Malaysia has very few persons trained as a patent agent. Lawyers were engaged as patent agents and the practice is continued until today. Patent agents need to pass a patent agent examination set by MYIPO.

The early batch of scientist trained were chemist. A chemist is desirable to prepare specification for any field of technology due to its versatile background. Now, most of the genuine patent agents have at least a chemist to prepare patent specification. However, with the robust advancement of technology, professionals from other science background is needed to prepare specification. Consider the field of your invention. Who do you think is more suitable to prepare your invention? A physicist, chemist, biologist or lawyer?

Patent lawyer refers to a person who can represent clients in court. They have passed the Malaysia bar exam. They are multi-purpose lawyer who practice in various field of law or specialised in IP. Usually lawyers who choose to specialise in IP take the Malaysia Patent Agent examination.

MIMOS wins Frost & Sullivan Growth Excellence Award

MIMOS, Malaysia's research institution wins Frost & Sullivan Growth Award for advancement in precision agriculture. MIMOS is actively engaged in applying MEMS sensor technology in monitoring crops quality and the processing of raw materials. The research is jointly conducted with UPM. Datuk Abdul Wahab, CEO of MIMOS, says advancement in MEMS allows sensor and wireless technology to be incorporated in crops to monitor the health of crops. For details visit