The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) has informed the public that it intends to widen the scope of trademarks recognized under the Trade Marks Act 1976 in Malaysia by including Non-traditional Trademarks (NTMs) in three years time.
NTMs are basically new types of trademarks which do not belong to the pre-existing or conventional category of trademarks. NTMs are registrable in countries such as the United States, the European Union, Japan and Australia, but have been relatively unheard of until recently in Malaysia.
On 4 March 2009, MyIPO’s, director-general, Mr. Kamel Mohamad, said with the inclusion of NTMs, an individual or businesses could now register a trade mark such as sound, colour, smell, taste and texture or combination of one or more of these elements.
Examples of NTMs previously filed in foreign countries include famous sounds, such as the sound of Harley-Davidson V-Twin engines, the sound of the Nokia default ringtone and the roar of a lion for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Other NTMs filed include the smell, aroma and essence of cinnamon for furniture and the colour brown for parcel delivery services.
Mr. Mohamad said that “With the current global climate, it is timely for us to introduce NTMs to help our businesses further strengthen their brand”.
MyIPO will be reviewing the Act and according to Mr. Kamel Mohamad, the draft of the consultation is expected to be ready by next year.
We will keep you informed of the progress of the introduction of NTMs to Malaysia.