Malaysia’s IP rights are in accordance with the accepted  international standards. Malaysia administers its IP rights  through an agency, which operates under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, the  Intellectual Property Corporation of  Malaysia (MyIPO). 

Types of IP Rights in Malaysia

IP rights are some of the most  important intangible assets possessed by business owners in  Malaysia. These rights prevent the  unauthorized duplication or use of any item or work to which the  business owner is to have full rights.  

1. Copyrights 

2. Patent and Utility  


3. Industrial Designs 

4. Layout Designs of Integrated  Circuits 

5. Geographical Indications


Categories of work protectable  under the law of copyright are; (a) Literary works 

(b) Musical works 

(c) Artistic works 

(d) Films 

(e) Sound recordings 

(f) Broadcasts  

A literary, musical or artistic work  shall be eligible for copyright if – (a) Sufficient effort has been  expended to make the work original in character; and 

(b) The work has been written  down, recorded or otherwise reduced to material form.

Duration of Copyright

According to Copyright Act 1987,  the duration of copyright depends  on the type of work. 

For literary, musical or artistic work:  during the life of the author and shall continue to subsist until the expiry of  a period of 50 years after his death.  

In the case of a work of joint  authorship, “life of the author” shall  be construed as a reference to the  author who dies last.  Sound recording, films, works of  Government, Government organisations and international  bodies, typographical arrangement  of a published edition and broadcasts – continues to subsist  until the expiry of 50 years computed from the beginning of the  calendar year next following the  year in which the sound recording,  film government work, broadcasts  and edition was first published or made.

Who is the first owner of Copyright?

Copyright shall best initially in the  author.

Where a work; 

(a) Is commissioned by a person who is not the author’s employer under a contract of service or apprenticeship; or 

(b) Not having been so commissioned, is made in the course of the author’s employment, the copyright shall be deemed to be transferred to the person who commissioned the work or the author’s employer, subject to any agreement between the parties excluding or limiting such transfer.  

What happened if Copyrights is infringed?

Under Section 41 Copyright Act  1987,  

– A fine not less than RM2,000 and  not more than RM20,000 for each  infringing copy, or  

– To imprisonment for up to 5 years  or to both and 

– For any subsequent offence, to a  fine of not less than RM4,000 and  not more than RM40,000 for each  infringing copy or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or  to both.

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