Malaysia Moves Closer to Madrid – Changes to the Malaysian Trade Marks Act

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In trade mark news out of Southeast Asia, Malaysia has passed the Trademarks Bill 2019 bringing it a step closer to acceding to the Madrid Protocol.  The amendments will also make way for recognition of non-traditional trademarks in Malaysia, including sounds, smells, shapes and colour. The changes will bring the Trademarks Act 1976, which was based on a 1938 UK Act, into the multimedia age.

Malaysia’s ‘The Sun daily’ reports that Deputy Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Chong Chieng Jen has said expanding the scope of trademark protection to non-traditional marks was a necessity for the domestic and foreign trade sectors. Malaysia, which is the 3rd largest economy in Southeast Asia, has a significantly more productive labour market than its neighbours the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 

In addition to allowing for protection of non-traditional marks and paving the way for Madrid Protocol applications being filed into and out of Malaysia, the amendments to the Act will also allow for multi-class trade mark applications, revocation of registrations by the Registrar, the protection of collective marks and remedies for groundless threats of infringement proceedings.

Michael Buck IP is pleased to assist our trade mark clients who wish to seek protection of their valuable brands in Malaysia, and will continue to do so as the above changes come into effect. Please contact Geraldine or email if you’d like information on the costs and process for securing trade mark protection in Malaysia.