What are the criteria for obtaining patent registration in Malaysia?

An invention need not be complicated or applies advanced technology to be patented. Often, simple new and improved products or processes are the best patented inventions.

To qualify for a Malaysian patent, your invention must:-


(a)        be new (not disclosed* previously anywhere in the world or not more than one year after first disclosure)**

(b)        have an inventive step that is not obvious to a person ordinarily skilled in the field

(c)        be capable of being made or used in any kind of industry


*Disclosure here means any form of sale, public demonstration, publication, advertisement, or any use of the invention.

**In  Malaysia, an invention will still be treated as new if first publication occurred less than a year. However, this is not the case for other countries. Hence, it would be prudent to apply for patent before disclosure.


The following cannot be patented:-

  1. discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
  2. plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals, other than man-made living micro-organisms, microbiological processes and the products of such microbiological processes;
  3. schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing purely mental acts or playing games;
  4. methods for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body.

What is a Utility Innovation?

A utility innovation is a lesser invention with no requirement for inventive step. The specification is restricted to only one claim. The term of protection is up to 20 years.


Can I patent an idea of a new invention? 

No, an idea of a new invention alone cannot be patented. To qualify for patent protection, an invention has to be applied to a product or process and has to fulfill other criteria such as being new, involving an inventive step and be capable of industrial application. 

Who is entitled to apply for a Patent?

Only the owner of the invention whether individual or company can apply to register his invention. He may appoint a registered patent agent to make the application on his behalf. Where an applicant's ordinary residence or principal place of business is outside Malaysia, the applicant needs to appoint a registered patent agent to make the application on his behalf.

 What is the duration of a patent registration ?

In Malaysia and most other countries, a patent has a maximum validity of 20 years provided the renewal fee is paid to the Patent Office every year.


Does a patent obtained in  Malaysia have international protection?

No. A patent granted by the Malaysian Patent Office only has effect in Malaysia. There is an international patent which is the PCT patent which covers a large number of countries worldwide. There is no worldwide patent which covers all the countries in the world.

What is a PCT Patent?

PCT allows an applicant to seek patent protection for an invention in each of the member countries of the Treaty simultaneously by filing only one patent application in one office, one language and one fee. This is particularly useful if you wish to apply for patent protection in a large number of countries. The examination process of the PCT application will still have to be conducted in the respective countries and will have to meet the respective national requirements.  Malaysia is a member country of the Treaty hence you can apply for PCT patent registration in Malaysia.

Please note that the information contained herein is for general information purposes only and not intended to be legal advice. If you have any specific questions, please contact us. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.