A talk, entitled “The Greatest Insights on IP & IP Commercialisation Year 2021”, jointly organised by International IP Commercialisation Council (IIPCC) Malaysia Chapter, IIPCC Greater Toronto Area Chapter and Malaysia Canada Business Council (MCBC), and fully supported by IIPCC, Samenta – the Small and Medium Enterprises Association and Penang Women Chamber of Commerce (PWCC), was held in Penang.
Moderated by Datin Lorela Chia, deputy chairman of Samenta Central, the webinar featured special keynote presentations on IP & IP Commercialisation from Patricia Chung, president & board of governor of IIPCC Malaysia Chapter as well as Dr Ramesh Rajaduray, vice chairman of IIPCC Greater Toronto Area, where different types of IP routes to commercialisation, the law and current initiatives by relevant authorities were discussed.
They were joined by guests from Hong Kong and Canada, including Michael Lin, the co-founder and board member from IIPCC HQ, Hong Kong, Jim Tarlton, president and board of governor of MCBC, Kam Lian Hooi, National president of Samenta, Datuk William Ng, chairman of Samenta Central Region, Calvin Kwan, chairman of Samenta Northern Region, Louis Ooi, president of Samenta Southern Region, SH Yeoh, National general secretary of Samenta, SK Chong, Tong Bee Yoke, president of PWCC & Datin Mable Tan, vice president of PWCC.
Opening the event, moderator Chia explained how a fundamental change has come to Malaysian trademark law, and how Malaysian companies can now protect their assets in over 124 countries, due to Malaysia becoming the 106th member of the Madrid Protocol as of September 2019. This is made easier by recent government initiatives such as Matrade’s Market Development Grant which encourages the registration of IP in the international market as well as other funds allocated for IP registration-related grants or incentives, such as the long-established Malaysian Brand Award and others.
The talk focused on IP, commercialisation opportunities and how it adds value to business models. The first speaker, Dr Ramesh who has over 14 years of experience providing IP services, focused on an overview of various forms of IP, including copyright, trademark, trade secrets, patents, design rights as well as traditional knowledge & traditional cultural expressions. He spoke of how branding is critical in business, and how you can protect a brand using a trademark, including design rights on items with a distinctive look and feel such as a Coca-Cola bottle or a Volkswagen Beetle.
Chung, the second speaker who is an active corporate attorney specialising in Intellectual Property for 13 years in practice, gave updates on various forms of IP in Malaysia, including law and current initiatives by relevant authorities. She said that trade secrets and geographical indications are rather new to Malaysian. She also covered how IP can help overcome competitiveness, and whether certain rights should be licensed out to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) companies, noting that branding should belong to your own company. She also gave examples of IP Commercialisation within Malaysia and overseas including Roblox, Kampong Boy, Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co, Kairos-Penang Smart Farming, and so on, emphasising that IP must first come with economic value before IP Commercialisation is possible.
Both speakers also touched on International Knowledge Registry (IKR) as a solution for trade secrets as proof of existence. The talk then continued with a panel discussion between IIPCC Toronto & IIPCC Malaysia, covering IP from a business perspective, including contractors, hiring employees, joint ventures, licensing, technology transfer, and other IP commercialisation. The IP Commercialisation Programme was then introduced with a video presentation, a first in Malaysia, which includes a six-month programme from March to September 2022, including an IP-Innopreneurship Workshop, Global Networking, with 25 speakers from 10 countries touching on 12 topics.
Attendees are invited to join to learn how to capitalise on their IP, and the experience includes an online examination, panel discussion, graduation & award ceremony.
Later Lin described how IIPCC started in 2014, a worldwide NGO recognised by the United Nations (a first starting from Asia) with 23 chapters around the world, and how he believes that knowledge is for the betterment of humanity, and how the NGO was founded to educate on how IP exists to help business. He noted that 60-80% of corporate value lies in IP, and very little lies comparatively in its brick and mortar.
Citing Google as an example, Lin said that about 90% of their value lies in IP, particularly their algorithms, including search. He also mentioned that R&D without IP protection is essentially a “charity”, as you’re teaching everyone else how to do it, and how you would definitely want a return on investment on your business to make it sustainable.
Tarlton meanwhile said he had learnt a lot from the talks and sharing, adding that the MCBC was formed 32 years ago. The council is focused on energy transition, clean water, aerospace, agritech and halal food as well as social infrastructure, and aims to do more trade between the two countries. He said businesses are based on trust, and described how IP allows a framework for cooperation and trust in joint ventures.
It was then followed by an address by Kam who thanked IIPCC Malaysia for partnering with Samenta, and stressed that although IP is important, it is not always well understood, since it is an intangible asset, and stated that he looked forward to IP commercialisation becoming more widespread and future accounting practices to reflect the value of IP.
The talk concluded with the virtual signing of three MOUs, where representatives typed their names at the same time into a virtual certificate, between IIPCC Malaysia & MCBC and IIPCC Malaysia & Samenta and IIPCC Malaysia & PWCC and group photos with all the attendees.