Sunday, June 28, 2009

MJ and Anti-gravity Lean

I am still saddened by the demise of Michael Jackson. Thinking of him, I have been listening and reading any materials related to my idol.

A friend of mine had the opportunity to watch his live concert in Kuala Lumpur. He recap that the most mesmerizing moment happened when MJ performed his anti-gravity lean for 'Smooth Criminal'. The crowd was awed and there were some questions raised on how he performed the lean.

I did some digging and found that MJ was awarded US patent 5,255,452 for devising a method for creating anti-gravity illusion. The props that enable the effect consists of pegs that rise from the stage and shoes with unique heels. The method enabled MJ and his dancers to perform the anti-gravity lean on stage throughout the world - with no strings attached.

MJ King of pop and 'dance' inventor.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Petronas remains top Malaysian brand

PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) retained its position as the top Malaysian brand this year with the highest brand value of RM10.7 billion, up from its last year's brand value of RM8.3 billion.

Genting Bhd also retained its second position by maintaining its brand value of about RM4.1 billion, followed by Tenaga Nasional Bhd, which jumped from 5th place with a RM3.5 billion brand value.

Budget carrier AirAsia Bhd has been picked out as the best performing Malaysia brand when its investment in multiple daring brand promotion activities successfully reinforced customers' awareness of its brand image.

Despite shrinking global air passenger traffic, the best performer among the country's top 50 brands carried 11.8 million passengers last year, up one-fifth from 2007, and its capacity rose by one-third to 18.7 billion. - Business Times

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Scientists and researchers to get good payouts from Govt

Malaysia can expect more home-grown inventions as scientists and researchers will be given financial remuneration for their creations and findings.

Starting this month, those who carry out research and development funded by the Government will be paid RM15,500 if their work is approved and patented.

Creators will also receive benefits in the form of profit-sharing from the commercialisation of their products or technology, and be given equity in spin-off companies which will be set up.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili said the move was in line with the introduction of a policy to commercialise intellectual property to motivate researchers, scientists and institutions to be involved in research and development to create new technology.

“We want to produce a conducive environment that will continuously encourage new innovations and findings.

“As it is, the level of intellectual property being commercialised is at a very low rate of 3.4% but we hope to double the percentage as we enter the 10th Malaysia Plan,” he told reporters after launching the policy yesterday.

Under the policy, each disclosure of invention will receive RM500 and the creator will receive an additional RM5,000 for each creation filed. Those whose work is approved and patented will be paid an incentive of RM10,000.

Dr Ongkili said creators whose products and technologies were commercialised would receive RM250,000 as initial profit.

He said that with the various incentives, Malaysian R&D creators have the potential not only to make a name in their respective fields but may also be millionaires from successful ventures.

Dr Ongkili said his ministry would formulate the national innovation policy that would help determine the country’s future plan in the fields of technology, creation, findings and innovation.

“We hope to have a draft ready by next year,” he added. -theStar

Big money from traditional medicine industry

ONE should not look down on the humble herbal industry in Malaysia, which of late has been attracting steady interest both in terms of consumers and investors following a global resurgence in the usage of traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) treatment versus modern medicine.

Local herbs and plants that thrive in our backyards and rainforests and increasingly making their mark internationally include kacip fatimah (labisia pumila), pegaga (pennyworts or centella asiatica), peria (bitter gourd), misai kucing (cat whiskers), mas cotek (mistletoe fig), limau purut (kaffir lime), tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack) and jambu batu (guava).

Pegaga is currently vastly commercialised for its antibiotic properties that support the immune system and is especially beneficial in treating a variety of skin problems.

Tongkat ali, meanwhile, is one of the most expensive herbal plants sold on the market and for good reasons too given its nickname as nature’s testosterone booster.

The shrub is very rare and some said searching for tongkat ali in the Malaysian jungle is akin to searching for truffles in France or Italy.

At the same time, many herb-based industry players are exploring ways to merge various herbal cosmetics, healthcare and services, biotechnology, food and natural medicine into a single tourism product.

Apart from direct herbal manufacturing operations, new market segments could be developed including home spas, herbal clinics and pre-and post-natal care using local herbal products.

In fact, the thriving herbal industry in Malaysia is expected to reach almost RM10bil in 2009 and likely to grow 8% to 15% annually in line with the growing acceptance for herbal based natural phyto-medicine globally.

The World Bank has also estimated that the global market for herbal-related medicinal products is poised to escalate to US$5 trillion in 2050 from about US$200bil in 2008.

Capturing 1% of the global market share by then could easily translate into a RM190bil industry for Malaysia!

Taking these facts into account, Malaysia is doubling its effort to position itself as a “rainforest herbal hub” where local and foreign companies can conduct research to develop more TCM products for healthare and other related applications.

At the same time, since early 2000, the Government has set up the Malaysian Herbal Corp (MHC) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

MOSTI also has three biotechnology institutes, namely Malaysia Institute of Pharmacetical and Nutraceutical, Malaysia Genome Institute and Agrobiotechnology Institute to work synergistically with industry players to lead the industry to greater heights.

Given that Malaysia’s rich flora and fauna support over 20,000 plant species, of which 2,000 plant species have been identified to have medicinal value, it is worthwhile for herbal-based industry players to seriously look at this thriving business opportunity.

Why not take advantage of the current mounting interest in natural product remedies as more and more people are becoming concerned over the side effects caused by synthetic drugs, the rising cost of healthcare and the failure of mainstream medicine to treat certain diseases? - Hanim Adnan, theStar

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Geographical Indications of Malaysia

Tenom coffee bean
Geographical indications (GI) is widely used in Europe to protect wines, spirit, cheese and chocolate products. GI is specifically related to a district or state's agriculture produce. As of April 2009, there are six registered GI in Malaysia namely Sarawak pepper, Sabah tea, Sabah seaweed, Sabah virgin coconut oil, Tenom coffee and Bario rice. Tenom is a rural town of Sabah while Bario is a part of Sarawak.

Sarawak pepper has a distinctive flavor and taste that has gained international recognition by chefs and gourmets as one of the most favorite pepper ingredients. There are various pepper products such as pepper candies and pepper perfume that won't make you sneeze.

Sabah tea is grown on Mount Kinabalu at 2000 feet above sea level. Tender leaves of amellia Sinensis plants used are certified as organic tea.

Sabah seaweed is cultivated at clear and unpolluted seas of Sabah. Sabah seaweed has high soluble fibre content that lowers blood cholesterol and lipid levels.

Sabah virgin coconut oil, to some researchers, is the healthiest dietary oil on earth. Clinical studies have shown that lauric acid, present in virgin coconut oil, has anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, making it a miracle healing oil.

The Tenom district is famous for its coffee, Tenom Robusta. The coffee is cultivated, and roasted with butter and salt in Tenom.

Bario Rice is regarded by the natives as the finest and best rice from the highlands of Sarawak. It is grown on cool climates at an elevation above 1,200 metres. It is believed to be the finest rice grains of the world. It is famous for its soft texture, fine and elongated grains with mild aromas and splendid taste.

GI is similar to trademark. It prevents agriculture produce of other regions to be passed of as a popular or quality produce. It is widely used to protect a quality agriculture produce of a region.

Friday, June 5, 2009

ASEAN Starts Project on Patent Cooperation

Heads of ASEAN Intellectual Property (IP) Offices announced in Cha-Am, Thailand the launching of the first regional patent cooperation project that will make it easier for entrepreneurs, particularly SMEs and inventors to obtain patents on their innovations in the region.

“Known as the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC), the project marks an important milestone towards realizing the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and is in line with the ASEAN collective objective of providing effective and efficient intellectual property protection,” said Mr Kamel Mohamad, Director-General of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia and outgoing Chairman of the ASEAN Working Group on the Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC).

According to Mrs Puangrat Asavapisit, Director-General of the Thailand‟s Department of Intellectual Property, the Project, which starts on June 15, 2009 “will not only support the "creative economy‟ in ASEAN but also boost SMEs in intra-ASEAN trade, especially exporters who will benefit from improvement in the current patent system. It aims to improve the turnaround time of processing patent applications and the quality of the search and examination reports among ASEAN IP Offices.”

Under the ASPEC, an applicant who files a patent application for the same invention in two or more ASEAN IP Offices can forward the examination report from the office that finished the examination earlier to the other IP Offices for their use as a reference in their examination process. The examiners of the other ASEAN IP Offices will not have to start the whole process of examination from scratch. This Project is a worth-while effort by the ASEAN IP Offices to increase their efficiency as well as avoiding the application backlogs. It neither requires any change to the existing law nor any signing of diplomatic documents. The findings of one ASEAN IP Office, however, does not bind the others.

ASPEC was first proposed by Singapore in 2008 at the 30th Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) in Hoi An, Vietnam and drew participation of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam IP Offices. Brunei Darussalam will be joining the Project as soon as its Patent Act is implemented. - ASEAN


Heads of ASEAN Intellectual Property (IP) Offices who met in Cha-Am, Thailand have
agreed to launch an online Directory of IP-related resources and services available in ASEAN Member States to serve as a useful and comprehensive “one-stop” resource for businesses and other interested parties.

Initially, the IP DIRECT will provide information pertaining to ASEAN Member States’ IP legislation, dispute resolution bodies, sources for grants/loans and government incentives for investment in technology and R&D, technology transfer/licensing offices, rights management organizations and IP awareness and public education.

Information in the Directory is organized along the framework of the IP value-chain, namely, invention/innovation, IP protection, IP exploitation and enforcement. Information is further sub-categorized under “Key Activities” for easy reference. Mr Kamel Mohamad,Director-General of the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia and outgoing Chairman of the ASEAN Working Group on Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC)said: “Information in the Directory will be organized in a user-friendly manner. Ease of use was a paramount consideration in the design of the directory.”

Atty. Adrian S. Cristobal Jr, Director-General of the Philippines IP Office and incoming Chairman of the AWGIPC said: “The IP DIRECT will benefit ASEAN businesses and other innovators in the region. To ensure its relevancy, we will be consulting ASEAN stakeholders regularly as we continue to populate the database with important information.”

Mrs Puangrat Asavapisit, Director-General of Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property said: “The launch of the ASEAN IP Directory is timely in view of the move by ASEAN Member States toward an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The Directory will assist SMEs to fully utilize the IP system in ASEAN and promote intra-ASEAN trade and investment.”

Singapore IP Office, as the initiator of this project, has completed the template for the Directory which will be hosted on the ASEAN website in English and is expected to be up and running in the coming months - ASEAN

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

SEAD Course

Was at Bangkok to attend SEAD, a workshop that emphasis practical work on patent drafting. The course is directed to teaching the art of drafting. Each lecture session is followed by an exercise, which is then discussed at a plenary session. By the end of a series of lecture, we were given four drafting exercises to work on over the following four months.

The tutors are David Carmichael from Australia, Dennis Drehkoff from USA, Karl Rackette from Germany, Simon Roberts from UK, and, Geoffrey Dekleine and Bob Hirons from Canada. We were exposed to drafting techniques used in various major jurisdictions. The course content is supported by FICPI Training and Education Commission.

This year there are 32 participants from all over South East Asia, including a participant each from Hong Kong, Denmark and India. Malaysia has 15 participants; the highest amount of participants in the course. There were a mix of patent practitioners, patent managers and lawyers in the course. Major IP organizations of Malaysia were represented at the course. Desmond Wee, the president of MIPA was at the course to promote MIPA membership to Malaysia delegates.