Achieving success in the Malaysian business landscape requires creating a powerful and enduring brand identity. This will help you stand out from other businesses and make you more recognizable in the market.
In other words, to be the best businesses in Malaysia, you should have a comprehensive brand kit that comprises a logo that accurately conveys your business objectives and is attractive to your target market.
However, you will need to take some steps to protect the logo representing your business from being stolen or copied by others. To do this, you will need to register for a trademark.
In this article, we’ll guide you on how to register for a trademark Malaysia, covering the entire process from start to finish, as well as important tips to know as you begin your journey in getting your trademark.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is, by definition, anything that identifies and sets one product or service apart from others on the market, be it a symbol, word, phrase, or even a design. In other words, it’s meant to be a unique identifier that enables consumers to link a brand with a particular good or service.
A trademark can be a company name, logo, slogan, sound or color. Registering for a trademark gives you, the owner, exclusive rights to use the trademark for your business in the marketplace and prevents others from using or imitating it without permission.
By having a registered trademark, your business can protect its brand identity and reputation and establish the company as a unique player in the industry.
Related: Branding VS Marketing
It’s important to note that trademarks are country-specific, meaning that a registered trademark in Malaysia may not necessarily be recognised in other countries.
Who Can Register for a Trademark in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, any individual or business organisation can register for a trademark. This includes those aiming to start a successful e-commerce business, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, corporations, and even foreign businesses.
While registering for a trademark is not mandatory, it is highly recommended as this can help protect your brand and prevent others from using your business name or logo without permission.
However, there are a lot of things you need to be aware of during the registration process.
For example, you need to ensure the trademark logo you’re applying for is distinctive and not similar to other existing trademarks. It should also not violate any laws or moral values, such as promoting violence or discrimination.
Due to how complex and time-consuming the process can be, you can always seek the assistance of a qualified professional, such as a trademark agent or lawyer, to ensure your trademark is registered successfully.
Main Benefits of Registering for a Malaysia Trademark
Registering for a trademark in Malaysia offers several benefits for businesses, which includes:
Offers Better Legal Protection
While an unregistered trademark may have some legal protection under trademark law, having a registered trademark gives your business additional protections, such as presumed ownership and diminished burden of proof.
This means that if someone copies or infringes upon the trademark, the burden of proof is much lower, making it easier to take legal action.
Allows You To Take Legal Action Against Copycats
Once you do notice any copycats or logos that look similar to your business, the registered trademark also provides the right to legal action against anyone who infringes this. It can also be recorded with the authorities to prevent counterfeit goods from being imported.
Reduces Risk of Being Similar
Registering the trademark ensures that it is not similar to any other registered trademarks, reducing the risk of being sued or forced to rebrand. This also gives your brand a chance to be completely unique, making the trademark of your brand even more significant.
Allows You To Expand To Other Countries
Using the symbol “®” after the trademark adds to the prestige of the company and can be used for foreign trademark filing if the business wants to expand into other countries.
Step-by-Step Process How to Register Trademark in Malaysia
If you’re considering registering for a trademark in Malaysia, there are several steps involved in the process. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process successfully:
1. Design Your Business Trademark
The first step is to design a unique, memorable trademark and not similar to any existing trademarks. As mentioned before, the trademark can be a logo, name, slogan, or any combination thereof.
If designing isn’t your expertise, consider hiring an experienced graphic design company in Malaysia to get the job done. Not only will this save you time and effort, but also guarantee top-notch results.
2. List Goods or Services To Trademark and Decide Its Classification
Once you have your trademark design, you need to determine the goods or services that will be associated with the trademark. It’s important to be specific about the types of goods or services as they will be categorised under a specific classification system.
This will help determine the application fees and the duration of protection.
3. Conduct A Trademark Search Before Filing
Before filing the trademark application, it’s recommended to conduct a pre-filing trademark search to ensure that the trademark is not similar to any existing trademarks.
This can be done through the Malaysian Intellectual Property Corporation (MyIPO) online database, however, as the process isn’t as simple as typing in a name, you may need the assistance of a trademark agent or attorney.
4. Define Who is the Trademark Owner
As per the Trademark Act Malaysia 2019, you can register trademark in the name of an individual, company or other organisation.
The trademark owner is the person or entity that owns the rights to the trademark, so it’s important to decide who should own it. If the trademark is owned by a company, the application must be submitted by a representative of the company who has the authority to do so.
5. File Your Trademark Application
After completing the pre-filing search and identifying the trademark owner, you can prepare and file the trademark application with MyIPO through e-filing Malaysia.
The application should include the trademark sign, design, list of goods/services, and the identification of the trademark owner.
6. Trademark Examiner Reviews Application
Once the application is submitted, it will be examined and reviewed by a trademark examiner to ensure that it meets the requirements for registration. The examiner may request additional information or clarification if needed.
7. Approved and Published in MyIPO
If the trademark application is approved by the examiner, it will be published in MyIPO for a period of two months. During this time, any interested parties can file an opposition to the registration.
8. Trademark is Officially Registered
If no opposition is filed within the two-month period, or if the opposition is unsuccessful, the trademark will be registered, and a certificate of registration will be issued.
Additional Facts To Know About Trademark in Malaysia
There are other factors you need to know about registering for a trademark in Malaysia. Most notably:
- Generally, a trademark registration Malaysia procedure typically takes between 12 and 18 months if everything goes smoothly.
- If there are any office actions or opposition proceedings throughout the registration process, it will take a lot longer, which means the process can take years.
- The cost of registering a (successful) trademark in Malaysia costs up to RM700 for one class of goods or services and increases with each additional class.
- It is important to conduct a trademark search before filing to avoid potential infringement issues and additional costs.
- In Malaysia, you cannot register a trademark that is similar or identical to an existing trademark, has scandalous or offensive matters, or contains religious or political symbols.
- You can trademark logos, names, slogans, shapes, sounds, and even smells in Malaysia, as long as they are distinctive and not generic.
FAQs on Trademark in Malaysia
How Can I Trademark a Brand in Malaysia?
To trademark a brand in Malaysia, you need to follow the step-by-step process outlined earlier, which includes designing a trademark, conducting a trademark search, preparing and filing an application, and going through examination and publication before registration.
What Are the Types of Trademark?
There are three trademark types in Malaysia: word marks, figurative marks, and combination marks, which combine both words and figurative elements.
What is the Difference Between TM and R in Malaysia?
The symbol TM signifies that a trademark is being used and is not yet registered, while the symbol R indicates that the trademark has been registered with the Malaysian Intellectual Property Office.
How Long Does a Trademark Last in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, once your trademark has been approved, it’s valid for ten years from the application date and you can choose to extend it later without restriction.
Is a Trademark Valid Worldwide?
No, a trademark registered in Malaysia is only valid within the country’s borders.
To protect your trademark in other countries, you need to file a separate application with the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) so it can be designated to any other member countries of the Madrid Protocol.
How You Can Go About Designing/Redesigning Your Trademark
Considering designing or redesigning your brand? Designing or redesigning a trademark can be a daunting task, but there’s no denying it’s an important part of building a strong brand identity.
Which is why at One Search Pro, we offer logo design and creative branding services to help businesses create a unique and memorable trademark that represents their brand.
Our experienced team of designers can work with you to develop a custom logo trademark that reflects your business’s values, vision, and personality.
We believe that a well-designed trademark is the foundation of any successful digital marketing strategy, and we are dedicated to helping our clients build a strong and recognisable brand presence that can even be part of your website revamp.
Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about our logo design and creative branding services, as well as how we can help take your business to the next level!