Trademarks serve to differentiate a company’s products from those of others. Thus, registering a trademark is important for any Malaysian company.
Basic Information About Trademarks
In the business world, the concept of trademarks is an extremely important one. Some people believe that their trade name will eventually be known as a trademark by registering their business in the company registry of a particular country. This is false and a common misconception because a trade name is not the same as a trademark.
A trademark is a symbol which serve to differentiate the goods or services created or offered by one business from those of other firms. Some identifiers in Malaysia that may be used for identifying goods or services such as words, signs, numerals, instruments, labels, headings, cards, titles, logos, marks, or any variations of the preceding may be referred to as a trade ark. In Malaysia, registration for a trademark is not mandatory. There is also no requirement for any business to begin using a trademark at any time. However, the registration of a trademark is very much advised because such registration provides distinct benefits beyond those gained by those who have not undergone the process of trademark registration.
The primary purpose of a trademark is to allow customers to set apart an item of a company in order to differentiate it from other identical or similar goods sold by rivals. Consumers who are satisfied with a particular product are likely to buy or use the product at some point in the future. For this reason, consumers must be able to easily differentiate between products which may be identical or similar. By allowing companies to differentiate themselves and their brands from those of rivals, trademarks are essential to corporations’ branding and marketing campaigns. They therefore serve to establish the image and reputation of the goods of the business. This would then lead to consumers developing an attachment to certain brands based on several desired qualities and characteristics embodied in those trademarks. Trademarks also provide an opportunity for businesses to continuously preserve, improve, and enhance of the quality of their products in order to maintain the positive reputation of items bearing the company’s name.
For many companies, a carefully selected and well-managed trademark is a valuable asset. Some companies even consider their trademark to be their most important possession. Such is the case because consumers value brands, the reputation of these brand, their image, and a set of desired qualities which tend to be associated with the brand. Such consumers are typically willing to larger amounts of money for a product with a brand which they know will fulfill their expectations, and this positive reputation can be bolstered through careful and judicious use of a trademark.
Due to the value and importance of a trademark in determining the market success of a product, it is essential for every company in Malaysia to ensure that all trademarks related to the company have been registered accordingly. The expenditures related to the commercialization of a brand can become excessive without registration of a trademark as rival companies, whether they be based in Malaysia or elsewhere, may choose use the same or similar trademarks for equivalent or similar products. If a competitor chooses a similar or identical trademark, customers might end up purchasing the product of the competitor company instead of the original one.
Of course, before your company may register for a trademark, it must first be incorporated. Fortunately for all who desire such, we at Paul Hype Page & Co provide incorporation services for any prospective business owner in Malaysia. We will ensure that your new company in Malaysia will be established in a way which will allow you to take charge of it in any way which you deem to be suitable.
Trademark Protection in Malaysia
In Malaysia, trademark rights can be gained by registration. To register for trademark rights, one is required to submit the relevant application form (Form TM5) to the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO). Doing so will bring about the registration of a trademark in Malaysia.
How to Select a Suitable Trademark
Selecting a suitable trademark is crucial because a trademark is an important element in the marketing strategy of any company. Trademarks which are fit for use are those which fulfill all registration requirements of the country in which the company conducts business operations, are not overly similar to any existing trademarks related to similar or identical products, is appropriate for all media types, can easily be written and described, is simple for one to remember, is devoid of any negative connotations in any languages, and can be used for the registration of a website domain name for the company in question. Any trademark to which all of the preceding criteria apply can be deemed to be suitable.
The Process of Registering a Trademark in Malaysia
The first step of registering a trademark in Malaysia is that of application. When a person makes such an application, some of the details to be included are the applicant’s contact details, a graphic summary of the brand, details about the goods or services for which the trademark will apply, and a properly licensed status declaration. A payment of RM250 must also be made for the completion of Form TM5. An applicant may submit an application for a trademark on the website of MyIPO
After MyIPO accepts a request, it assigns a submission code. MyIPO will take further steps to record a trademark, of which the first is a formal review. This formal review causes the correct execution of the application form (TM5) and payment of the approved charge to be reviewed by MyIPO. The formal review is followed by a substantive examination. During this phase, MyIPO examines the application in order to ensure that all legal registration requirements have been fulfilled. MyIPO will then send either a letter of approval (TM29 form) or a letter of protest (TM70 form). Should all matters in this phase be duly completed, the applicant will then be required to pay a prescribed publication fee of RM450. After this payments is made and all necessary accompanying images have been provided, the trademark will be published in Warta Kerajaan (Government Gazette). At this point, anyone who plans to reject the registration of the trademark has a period of two months to do so. Once there are no remaining objections, the trademark will be licensed and the applicant will receive a registration certificate. The newly registered trademark will be active for 10 years from the date of application. Registered trademarks in Malaysia can even be renewed on a permanent basis if the trademark has not been used for a duration of three years. Such is made possible through completion of the renewal form (Form TM12) and payment of the necessary renewal fee of RM420. If the renewal application was not submitted before expiration the final registration expires but was filed within one month of the last registration, an extra charge of RM630 is to be paid before renewal of the registration.
Length of Trademark Registration in Malaysia
The complete duration of the period from the filing date to the issuance of the certificate for trademark registration is around 18 months. However, the exact duration depends on whether MyIPO or any other individual or entity opposes the trademark. Therefore, those who would like to register a trademark in Malaysia are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Cost of Trademark Registration in Malaysia
There is no set cost of trademark registration in Malaysia. However, there are certain costs which are to be taken into consideration at all times due to their importance. The production of a symbol to be used as a trademark may be of significant costs if such production is outsourced. Trademark acquisition costs may also apply. These costs include the fees payable to MyIPO during the submission of an application as well as after the acceptance of the publication application.
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How to Register a Trademark in Malaysia FAQs
The legal validity of a trademark which has been registered is usually limited to the territory in which the trademark was registered. Therefore, a trademark which has been registered in another country is usually not valid in Malaysia.
For 10 years from the date of registration, a registered trademark is legal. For consecutive 10-year periods, registration may be renewed indefinitely as long as the renewal fee is paid in due time.