IP application and registration shrink in 2015
The application and registration for intellectual property in the country is expected to fall by almost 4% in 2015 against the backdrop of a lacklustre economy, according to Deputy Director General (Industrial Property), Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) Abdul Aziz Ismail.
He said in the first 11 months of 2015, the number of applications and registration had fallen to 29,814 compared with 32,106 recorded in the corresponding period in 2014.
“The registration and application for intellectual property is one of the parameter used to gauge the country’s economic performance,” he noted.
“A drop in the numbers indicates the country’s level of economic development,” he added.
Application for local ownership of intellectual property from January to November declined to 16,221 against 17,693 registered in 2014.
Foreign applications also dipped to 25,345 compared with 26,548 registered in the previous year.
The intellectual property system in Malaysia covers patent, trademark, industrial design, geographical indication, copyright and layout design.
Singapore SMEs less bullish
Sentiment among SMEs in the city state has fallen for the fifth straight quarter, to hit lows last seen in 2012, according to the latest SBF-DP SME Index.
It is the first time that all the major components (including turnover and profit expectations, and business expansion expectations) that make up the index recorded a lower reading.
The index, which is a joint initiative of the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and DP Information, measures the business sentiment of SMEs for the next six months. An index reading of 50 indicates SMEs are neutral about their prospects and expect to achieve no substantial growth for the coming two quarters.
Sentiment fell across five of the six sectors tracked: commerce/trading, manufacturing, retail/F&B, business services, and transport/storage. The construction/engineering sector’s index reading remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 51.7.
Quarter on quarter, the business services sector experienced a drop in sentiment from 54.8 to 53.5, while sentiment in the manufacturing sector fell from 51.4 to 50.6. The commerce/trading sector’s sentiment gauge fell from 51.6 to 51.1. Retail/F&B was at 50.9.
The overall index fell 1.5% from 51.9 to 51.1. This is the lowest level recorded since the index hit 50.8 in in the first quarter of 2012.
SBF chief executive officer Ho Meng Kit called the five straight quarters of falling sentiment “a worrying trend”.
“With the recent emphasis on value creation, it is no longer possible for businesses to continue adopting the same business models that had brought us growth in the past.
“The government and business community need to work together to develop a new paradigm where there is greater collaboration, leveraging each other’s strengths to build Singapore’s future economy, particularly in the midst of increasing volatility and uncertainty,” he said.
Go into business, get online: Miti
Malaysians must not be afraid to become entrepreneurs and should take the opportunity to apply for grants provided by the Government via SME Bank, according to Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Datuk Ahmad Maslan.
The SME Bank funds include the Young Entrepreneur Fund with approval value of RM38.9 mil as at Oct 2015, Tabung Usahawan Siswazah (RM214.4mil) and SME-Go (RM21mil).
Ahmad said a study on developed countries found that most of their people were entrepreneurs.
“Our entrepreneurs have been taught packaging, branding and the like, and now we want them to venture into online business,” he added.
“Starting next year, Miti will sponsor more courses on online business,” he disclosed.
“For those holding permanent jobs but keen to participate in the courses, it’s not a problem if the courses are held at night or on weekends as they would not affect their jobs,” Ahmad said.
On top of their full-time job, people could consider doing an online business given its huge potential, with an increasing range of goods and services being peddled online, such as selling clothes and shoes as well as food delivery.
The minister said it was not unusual in developed countries for a person to have more than one job.