Protection of intellectual property crucial

  • Business
  • Monday, 06 Sep 2004

By Hong Boon How

ALTHOUGH Malaysian companies are aggressively venturing abroad, many have still not realised the importance of protecting and capitalising on their intellectual property. 

Advanz Fidelis Sdn Bhd executive director Chuah Jern Ern said the successes of many businesses depended on the development and maintenance of their unique products and services through innovation and branding. 

“Although many Malaysian companies have placed emphasis on building their brand, we still feel that they should not neglect the enormous prospects that can be gained from properly managing and commercialising their intellectual property. 

“Malaysians are quite inventive people and they should ensure that they are rewarded for their hardwork,” “ he told Starbiz

Chuah Jern Ern

Chuah related the case of a broom inventor who did not know that broom designs and shapes could be patented. 

“Because he did not know about getting protection, his competitors made money from copying his brooms the moment they were released into the market,” he said. 

Advanz Fidelis has a worldwide network of strategic allies and partners in over 100 countries. 

Intellectual property consist of patents, trademarks, copyright and industrial designs. 

Chuah said intellectual property was considered invaluable commercial assets which could bring their owners profitability and a competitive edge.  

“We specialises in working with our clients to identify, protect and manage their intellectual property to enable creation of wealth.  

“As such, we feel that local companies need to protect their intellectual property and look at ways on how to franchise or licence them,” he said. 

The company offers a one-stop centre-type solution to help its clients deal with issues relating to intellectual property filing, protection and marketing. 

“Although the awareness on intellectual property protection among Malaysian companies has increased over the last few years, the level is still below that of industrialised countries,” Chuah said. 

Advanz Fidelis also provides extended agency services such as intellectual property litigation, commercial investigations, monitoring and watch services, intellectual property policing, public relations and advertising needs and market surveys. 

“As the protection of intellectual property is territorial in nature, it is therefore essential for Malaysians companies which are taking their products abroad to make foreign filings,” he said. 

He also said that intellectual assets were increasingly important in the knowledge economy, in which ideas and “brain power” have become catalysts in creating new markets. 

Chuah said intellectual property that was properly protected would enable their owner to have a host of commercial benefits. 

“The owners will be able to have business differentiation, competitive advantage and a monopoly,” he said. 

For example, a trademark allows a method of identifying and differentiating between the goods and services of one company with another.  

Trademarks are unique symbols allows for instant recognition by the public of the origin, quality and consistency of the goods and services. A good trademark helps to sell products and services.  

As such, trademarks are valuable long-term assets in promoting brand recognition and loyalty.  

Chuah was the founding president of the Intellectual Property Alumni Association of Malaysia, an association dedicated to the dissemination of Intellectual Property information to the general society of Malaysia. He also sits in an advisory capacity in the Executive Committee.  

Chuah has also been invited to consult on the Board of the National Intellectual Property Policy Steering Committee. He is an advisor on Intellectual Property Implementation and Advisory Matters for the Multimedia Development Corporation, the agency responsible for overseeing the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor implementation.  

Chuah is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Malaysian Intellectual Property Association and sits as a lead committee member of the Negotiations and Mediation Group in the Malaysian Franchise Association.  

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