Harnessing the Creative Spirit in a Diverse World
Edited by Uma Suthersanen, Graham Dutfield and Kit Boey Chow
9. The ASEAN states Uma Suthersanen with Lim Heng Gee The ASEAN countries have made significant efforts to overhaul their intellectual property systems in the last ten years. At the ASEAN summit in Bangkok in December 1995, an Intellectual Property Framework Agreement was concluded. In 1998, the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Intellectual Property Cooperation was signed. One of the objectives of the ASEAN Framework Agreement is the possibility of setting up an ASEAN patent system and Patent Office to promote the region-wide protection of patents. Harmonisation of rights within the ASEAN region was further imposed by the international obligations of all the member countries, especially in connection with the TRIPS Agreement. Hence, there is some similarity of intellectual property laws within this region. Nevertheless, as is the situation all over the world, the area of second tier patent systems is as yet unharmonised within the ASEAN region. All ASEAN countries have implemented the UM system except Brunei, Myanmar, Laos and Singapore. 9.1 Malaysia (Lim Heng Gee) On the formation of Malaysia in 1963, there were three pieces of patent legislation in existence, the Registration of United Kingdom Patents Act, 1951 for the Federation of Malaya, the Patents Ordinance, Chapter 61, for the State of Sarawak and the Registration of United Kingdom Patents Ordinance, 1937, for the State of Sabah. All these three were based on the simple re-registration system under which an applicant desiring patent protection would have to make an application to the United Kingdom Patent Registration Office. On...
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