During early days man started creating his own world by application of his brain or mind by imagination and creativity. With his imagination and creativity, he has been producing various articles or products for his needs, comfort and convenience. In early era , the creations and inventions fell in a public domain. Where anyone could copy these creations without any restriction, or payment. However, with the passage of time, the importance and value of these creations was realised. The commercial aspect started playing a significant roll in these creations. By end of twentieth Century, the things created and invented by the human mind were recognised as INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY of the owner. These were also known as intangible properties.
Intellectual Property rights are like any other property rights – they allow the creator, or owner, of a patent, trademark, or copyright to benefit from their own creation or work or investment. These rights are outlined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of human Rights, which sets forth the right benefit from the protection of moral and material interests resulting from authorship and any scientific, literary, or artistic production.
Intellectual Property can have significant commercial and financial benefits for individual, research groups and the Universities including: It converts knowledge into tangible assets which can be transferred, assigned and licensed; It can generate significant royalty revenues for the University and the researchers; Inventors qualify for income obtained from licensing in the form of royalty payment; It can provide a legal monopoly in technology niche area.
In recent years, Malaysia has developed into one of the most attractive investment destination, not only for labour intensive manufacturing but also for innovative and high tech industries such as Dyson, Motorola, Intel etc. However, the uncertainty around the protection of Intellectual Property is still an important deterrent for foreign as well as domestic firms engaging in Research and Development (R&D) related activities. Despite the tremendous progress in the legal system such as setting up the Intellectual Property Courts and the amendment to the Patent and Trademark laws, the Intellectual Property in Malaysia is associated with series of cultural, economic, and political factors that significantly affect the incentives and outcomes of innovation efforts.
Unlike, the legal system, the complementary forces behind Intellectual Property protection vary across different types of firms, small, private enterprises, for example, will find more constrain in financing R&D and retaining talents compared with the large companies or multi-national. The types of R&D activities also matters: while firms aiming for frontier technologies are concerned about legal enforcement of patent rights, firms focusing on reserve engineering and manufacturing excellence would find other factors, such as market access and local protectionism, much more relevant. Thus, it is important to look into the heterogeneity of firms and firm strategies in order to have a comprehensive view of Intellectual Property Eco- system in Malaysia.
As more and more Universities, Research Institutions and Malaysian firms develop their R&D capacity and accumulate Intellectual Property, the general public’s perception of Intellectual Property will change and a greater domestic push for a stronger Intellectual Property protection is expected. To get ready for global competition, Malaysia need to build up their In Intellectual Property portfolios.
Japan took a drastic step to become a competitive nation after the second World War, the driving forces behind Japan’s high economic growth were the industriousness of the Japanese people, the strength of heavy and chemical related industry and high productivity and quality, especially in the fields of manufacturing and assembly. The Japanese production system introduced and improved upon technology from the United States and Europe, improved on-site production techniques and benefited from the strong Japanese inclination toward teamwork.
However, due to the increased competitiveness of nations such as those in other parts of Asia through low labor costs and improved production techniques and global advances in the field of information technology, in order to be competitive in the global market Japan moved away from the economic model that brought it past success.
In the 21st century, Malaysia needs to discover new economic opportunity by attaching further importance to intellectual property. Creation of a vision toward this end is itself a pressing issue. This outline is the strategy to promote in a timely manner high quality intellectual property, exploit this property and make it a source of national wealth. A mechanism to develop intellectual property, an environment for its precise evaluation, and distribution and wide application in society will lead to the ability, through reinvestment, to create the next generation of intellectual property. Reform toward development of this cycle of intellectual creation is indispensable to pave the way to the future for Malaysia. With the national goal of becoming a high-income nation, Malaysia will be able to become a world leader in many fields of industry and culture if comprehensive policies are carried out without delay.
Becoming a ” high income nation” means establishing in Malaysia an appreciation of the importance of invention and creation. For realisation of this policy, along with reconstructing the manufacturing base, it is necessary to stimulate intellectual creation on government, academic, corporate, and individual levels in response to the globalisation of economic activity and the advancement of information technology. It is also necessary to properly protect the intellectual property rights, the results of this creative activity and to construct an economic and social system for their effective utilisation as the source of value-added products and services.
Meanwhile, the rapid progress of information and communications technology has also brought about the negative effect of accelerated counterfeiting activities. In this situation recovery of development funds by investors is becoming difficult. In order to establish intellectual property, the foundation for strengthening industrial competitiveness, a deep awareness of the characteristics of this age of information is essential.
Along with nurturing creativity through elementary and middle school education, promoting strategic plans for the creation of intellectual property in businesses and universities and developing experts, administrative organs should make efforts to prepare intellectual property-related legislation and tax reductions to advance the protection and exploitation of the results of outstanding inventions. In addition, these administrative bodies should develop the information infrastructure for intellectual property and retain a constant awareness that they are providers of intellectual property-related administrative services. Moreover, action is required in a wide variety of fields including reforms in the judicial field and the promotion of aggressive trade and foreign policy in order to respond to overseas counterfeiting and piracy.