Malaysia’s IP Experts
31 August 2021
Malaysia has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, sending ripples through the rest of the world. The coronavirus has led to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s resignation in August, following criticism of his Covid-19 policies; factory closures in the country have contributed to the global chip shortage, particularly among vehicles made by Volkswagen; and Malaysians have suffered through repeated extensions of the country’s lockdowns, which have persisted since the movement control order (MCO) was first imposed in March 2020.
The government has announced plans to begin treating Covid-19 as an endemic disease rather than a pandemic disease in late October, International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said recently. Covid-19 would be endemic when the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease becomes a permanent presence in the country and continues to circulate among people, CNBC reported. Other endemic diseases include influenza, dengue and malaria.
Despite Covid-19, Malaysia saw a strong increase in international patent applications filed via the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). International applications grew by 4 percent in 2020 to reach 275,900 applications – the highest number ever, despite a drop in global GDP of 3.5 percent. Malaysia, on the other hand, saw an increase of 26.2 percent in applications in 2020, with a total of 255 applications, up from 202 in 2019.
In September 2019, Malaysia joined the Madrid Protocol, making Malaysia the 106th member of the Madrid System. The Protocol entered into force for Malaysia on December 27, 2019. International trademark applications via Madrid, therefore, saw a tremendous increase in Malaysia, registering 102 applications in 2020 versus just 21 registered at the end of 2019.
Malaysia also boasts a strong economy, with past investments in technology showing more benefits as Malaysians have adapted to technology used during lockdown versus more analog means of communications from the pre-Covid days.
Catherine Lian, managing director of IBM Malaysia, told Techwire Asia that businesses have become more trusting of what technology can do, and why they are pushing ahead with digital transformation. Businesses are rethinking competitive advantage for the Covid-19 recovery to include investment in technologies such as cloud, AI, IoT, and blockchain.
“Cloud and AI have become a more important performance differentiator in 11 out of 18 industries analyzed since the pandemic,” Lian told Techwire, citing IBM’s Institute for Business Value Digital Acceleration Study. “Meanwhile, emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, and robotic process automation are associated with higher performance in industries such as consumer products and electronics.”
Lian said that coordinated efforts will lead to Malaysia’s success in realizing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
“IBM is delighted that the MyDigital initiative will give more room for the public and private partnership to create new business models and business resiliency whereby technology enhances the Malaysian business operation to be more efficient, productive and resulting in cost-savings and new revenue streams,” she said. “Only by working together can we navigate the best route through the river of change ahead.”
With this growing interest in intellectual property protection in Malaysia, we turned to IP professionals in the region in order to understand better what clients need today. Asia IP asked a large number of professionals – mostly in-house counsel and corporate legal managers – what they were looking for from their legal service providers. From their answers, we have compiled our list of 50 Malaysia IP Experts, those lawyers who understand just what their clients need and are able to provide them with the best practical advice.
Today’s clients are looking for more than just a degree from a top-notch university and a couple of decades of practice. In order to be an outstanding provider of intellectual property advice, a lawyer must also be capable of understanding how intellectual property impacts the rest of his client’s business, and be able to provide practical, real-world, business-savvy advice. She must be able to provide sound advice on the current law, but also needs to be able to understand coming trends which are likely to impact her client’s business.
Unlike days past when she might have played just a bit role, today’s IP expert is every bit a full-fledged team member.
It’s no big surprise, of course, that some of the country’s largest firms and service providers employ some of its best lawyers: Shearn Delamore & Co. landed five lawyers on the list: Karen Abraham, Jyeshta Mahendran, Indran Shanmuganathan, Timothy Siaw and Janet Toh. Two firms have four lawyers on the list: Skrine (Leela Devi Baskaran, Pei Yee Kuek, Charmayne Ong and Grace Teoh) and Henry Goh & Co (Azlina Aisyah Khalid, Yen Yen Oon, Sau Yin Tham and Dave Wyatt).
Firms with three lawyers on the list include venerable IP corporation Advanz Fidelis IP; LAW Partnership, which has been rising rapidly through the ranks since its formation in 2019; and regional law firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co.
Most of the lawyers named to our list have multiple practice specialties. Many of them are litigators, while others concentrate on prosecution work or provide strategic advice.
All of them have something in common: they are experts in their fields and, in one way or another, they provide extra value for their clients. They are Asia IP’s Malaysia IP Experts.
Malaysia’s IP Experts is based solely on independent editorial research conducted by Asia IP. As part of this project, we turned to thousands of in-house counsel in Malaysia, Asia and elsewhere and around the world, as well as Malaysia-focused partners at international law firms, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers including foreign legal consultants, advisers and counsel.
The final list reflects the nominations received combined with the input of editorial team at Asia IP, which has more than 40 years of collective experience in researching and understanding Malaysia’s legal market.
All private practice intellectual property lawyers in Malaysia were eligible for inclusion in the nominations process; there were no fees or any other requirements for inclusion in the process.
The names of our 50 IP Experts are published here. Each IP Expert was given the opportunity to include their biography and contact details in print and on our website, for which a fee was charged.