Patent updates from around Asia

Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam

Myanmar – Patent law passed by the Parliament

Few months after Myanmar passed its Industrial Design Law, on March 11, 2019 the Assembly of the Union of Myanmar has passed the Patent Law no. 7/2019. The two laws may enter into force around November 2019. All patents and designs which have been recorded under the Registration Act of 1908 will be invalid and unenforceable under the new laws.

Malaysia – Introducing a patent opposition procedure

The Malaysian Patent Act of 1983 does not provide for either pre-grant or post-grant opposition. The only avenue for recourse for an aggrieved party is to institute invalidation proceedings before the High Court, which is time consuming and costly. The Patent Act is now under review and the Malaysian IP Office, MyIPO, has proposed to introduce an opposition procedure which may be of a Japanese type, without oral hearings. The Patent Act is likely to be amended this year.

Singapore – removal of supplementary examination on January 1st 2020

Effective from January 1st, 2020.  IPOS won’t allow the option to request examination on the basis of claims allowed in another jurisdiction also known as supplementary examination. The impact is likely to be limited, since IPOS is member of the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) program and has PPH programs with a number of other patent offices, thereby still providing applicants with an opportunity to leverage off another jurisdiction.

Vietnam – New PPH program between Japan and Vietnam

The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program between the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) ended on March 31st 2019. As from April 1, 2019, the JPO and the NOIP will double the maximum number of requests for the PPH Pilot Program that NOIP accepts from 100 to 200 requests per year. The maximum number of requests per half a year will be limited to 100. The PPH program is extended for a period of three years.