SMEs and Intellectual Property Rights in Malaysia

SMEs and Intellectual Property Rights in Malaysia

Owners of all manner of businesses seek adequate protection of their intellectual property rights. Intellectual property rights can be protected by way of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and industrial design rights, just to name a few methods. Therefore, trademark, patent, and copyright registration are some of the procedures undertaken by these entrepreneurs.

With this in mind, it should be noted that the vast majority of all business owners, whether in Malaysia or elsewhere, are owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). When they apply for any form of protection of their intellectual property rights, they might be unsure if the same regulations governing the rights of larger corporations also extend to them and their businesses.

The following paragraphs will reveal the details about SMEs and how they relate to the protection of intellectual property rights in Malaysia.

Why SMEs Need Intellectual Property Rights

Often, a product or invention that has the potential to fundamentally change the industry in which it is used can come from an SME. Certainly, commercialization of such a product would bring immense financial value to the SME and its owner. However, without protection of intellectual property, the SME might not be able to take advantage of such an opportunity. Larger and more financially robust rivals can often step in and commercialize the product at a more affordable price, thus making the SME owner end up with no financial benefit for the effort expended.

Therefore, protection of the SME’s intellectual property is often necessary. Through such protection, competitors will not violate the SME’s intellectual property rights. This way, the owner of an SME can turn one or more innovative ideas into business assets which make the business much more marketable. By making use of their intellectual property rights, SME owners can earn great financial rewards from the objects protected by those rights. They can then use this revenue to fund further innovation and creativity, allowing their businesses to further flourish and establish themselves within their respective industries.


Business Size and Intellectual Property Rights in Malaysia

All businesses in Malaysia, from the smallest SME to the largest conglomerate, benefit from intellectual property rights which are protected by the same laws. Some of the primary laws which govern intellectual property rights in Malaysia include the Trade Marks Act 2019 (Act 815), the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012 (Act A1420), the Geographical Indications (Amendment) Act 2002, and the Industrial Designs (Amendment) Act 2013. Malaysia’s intellectual property laws are administered by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). MyIPO is to apply these laws equally to every business in the country.

The legal system pertaining to intellectual property rights in Malaysia is in line with international standards. This is because Malaysia is part of many international IP treaties such as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Madrid Protocol, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Other countries which are members of these treaties have intellectual property laws which apply to all businesses regardless of their size. Therefore, it is only to be expected that such is also the case in Malaysia.


In Malaysia, as is the case in almost every other country, a large business is not entitled to more rights over intellectual property than is a small one. It is only right and just that it is the way it is. Unequal enforcement of laws governing intellectual property rights would open the door to the possibility of various abuses of power in this area.

It is also important for SME owners in Malaysia to recognize their intellectual property rights and make use of them accordingly. By doing so, they can fend off any competitors, preventing them from infringing on their rights. SME owners can and should use these rights to spearhead the never-ending quest for innovation in Malaysia.

This article brought to you by Exy Intellectual Property Malaysia