Intellectual Property in Malaysia: How to Protect your Brilliant Ideas?


First and foremost we would like to congratulate our colleague Rashini Balakrishnan on becoming a certified IP agent!

This article originates from a recent discussion we had with some entrepreneurs relating to their upcoming business ventures, we were asked the following:

So, we want to register the Intellectual Property in Malaysia for our product “X”?

There is nothing wrong with that question, but it is somewhat inaccurate… We believe this originates from a common misconception when ‘Intellectual Property’ being used loosely to describe what is actually a component of intellectual property (e.g. patent or trademark).

So today we’re gonna explain about the different component of Intellectual Property in Malaysia in the simplest way we know how!

What is Intellectual Property in Malaysia?

‘Intellectual Property’ can be described as intangible assets  resulting from the creation of the mind (you can really see or touch it… it is all in your mind) e.g. inventions, designs, logos – as opposed to ‘real property’ which are tangible assets. IP is an umbrella encompassing the following separate and distinct components which are governed by distinct laws:

  1. Patent and Utility Innovation
  2. Industrial Design
  3. Trademark
  4. Geographical Indication
  5. Copyright

So, one do not simply walk-in to the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (“MyIPO”) and ask “How do I register my intellectual property?” (you may but you will be asked to further elaborate on the components that you would like to apply for). Reason being, each components have distinct and separate application procedures – and to emphasize here, intellectual property is an umbrella encompassing the various components.

[Note: Applications relating to components of intellectual property are submitted to MyIPO as the administering agency.]

What are the Components of Intellectual Property (IP)?

Here are the various components of IP?

Intellectual Property
ComponentWhat is it?Illustration


Utility Innovation

A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

[See more:]

To be patentable, an invention needs to fulfil the requirements of:

(i)   Novelty: new invention;

(ii)   Inventive step: the invention must not be obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the field of invention; and

(iii)   Industrial applicability: the invention can be made or used in any industry.

A utility innovation is an exclusive right granted for a “minor” invention which does not satisfy the test of inventiveness as required of a patent.



Michael Jackson’s ‘anti-gravity’ shoes

Source: Google Patent Database

Industrial DesignIndustrial design is the overall appearance of an article or product. The design features must be applied to an article by an industrial process or means of which the features in the finished article give it a unique experience.







Bottle by The Coca-Cola Company

Source: WIPO Global Design Database

TrademarkA trade mark is a sign which distinguishes the goods and services of one trader from those of another. A mark includes words, logos, pictures, names, letters, numbers or a combination of these.




Source: MyIPO Database

Geographical IndicationA geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.



Sabah Tea

Source: MyIPO


CopyrightCopyright is a protection given to authors, copyright owner and performer of their copyright work and performances as prescribe under the Copyright Act 1987.


(1) Books

(2) Song Lyrics

(3) Films


From the above, you will note that a product will generally comprise of more than 1 component of intellectual property e.g. patent, industrial design and trademark, and each component must be registered separately to be accorded the respective rights and protection under the law. So, you may have obtained a patent to your invention, but the product will also carry a brand, name or logo for which a trademark must be registered.

How to Register your Intellectual Property in Malaysia?

Look out for our next write-up on registration process for the various component of Intellectual Property. Meanwhile, you can ask our colleague Rashini of you have any further questions!

Contact Us

We have assisted and advised numerous local and foreign startups, social enterprises, SMEs and MNCs to setup their Company in Malaysia. If you would like to know more on how we can help you, drop us an email or call 6017-2745203