A patent is a grant of an exclusive right by the State for an invention which may relate to a new product, method or process, or may be an improvement to a known product or process. Invention refers to a technical solution to a technical problem.

The owner of a patented invention has the exclusive right to prevent or stop others from exploiting or using his invention, and to assign or grant licenses to others to use his invention.


For an invention to be patentable, it must be new, involve an inventive step and is capable of industrial application. It must also be disclosed in a clear and complete manner in the patent application.


There is provision under the Malaysian Patents Act of a grace period whereby any disclosure originating from the applicant or his predecessor in title and occurring within 1 year before the Malaysian filing date is disregarded for novelty purposes.


The following inventions are not patentable in Malaysia:

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


The duration of a Malaysian patent is dependent on its filing date. Subject to timely payment of the annual maintenance fee, where the filing date is:

1. on or after 1 August 2001, the duration is 20 years from the filing date;

2. before 1 August 2001, and the application was pending or granted and still in force as of that date, the duration is 20 years from the filing date or 15 years from the date of grant, whichever expires later.


Malaysia acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on 16 May 2006. The PCT entered into force in Malaysia on 16 August 2006.

Any Malaysian national or resident is eligible to file a PCT application with the Malaysian Registry as Receiving Office. However, such person or persons must first file a patent application in Malaysia or seek a waiver of this requirement from the Malaysian Registry prior to filing the international application.


An applicant of a PCT application designating Malaysia must before the expiration of 30 months from the priority date submit to the Malaysian Registry a copy of the international application in English and pay the prescribed fee, failing which the international application will be considered withdrawn for the purposes of the Malaysian Patents Act. Once deemed withdrawn, the international application may only be reinstated where:

  1. the applicant has made a request in writing to the Malaysian Registry by paying the prescribed fee, and submitting a copy of the international application in English and a written statement specifying the reasons for failure to comply with national entry requirements along with a supporting declaration or other evidence;
  1. said request was made within 2 months from the date of removal of the cause of the failure to meet the 30-months deadline, or within 12 months from the expiration of said deadline, whichever expires earlier; and
  1. the Malaysian Registry is satisfied that the failure was unintentional.


The Malaysian patent system also provides for protection of utility innovations. A utility innovation must be new and industrially applicable but there is no requirement for an inventive step.