(source: Intellectual Property Coperation of Malaysia)
The effects of Covid-19 have no doubt been felt worldwide and across many business sectors. But more importantly, the force of intellectual property rights has never affected the world more.
Although the numbers of filings for IP applications are lower post-pandemic as illustrated above, the amount of filings still seem to not have dipped too much and it can be observed that the public’s awareness to IP is ever so increasing yearly, especially with today’s technological age. We stress the importance of IP protection. We use the COVID-19 vaccine as an example.
Patents protect and allow creators to secure monopoly over their own unique inventions, after having invested time and money into the creation of the same, giving creators/companies the legal right to inhibit third-party use. This especially extends towards the development of Covid-19 vaccines.
The potential for IP disputes or issues to inhibit the development or distribution of Covid-19 vaccines have been voiced by some. Some have even called for individuals or organizations that develop these vaccines, treatments or technology to voluntarily refrain from asserting their IP rights or obtaining new ones.
In hindsight, the traction gained in the commercialization and monopolization of inventions through IP has in our opinion, pushed for more efforts in discovery of cures for the pandemic. In fact, we would go so far as to argue that IP protection laws should be strengthened to provide more incentives for innovation and investment in products such as vaccines which are by definition, unpredictable, risky, and expensive to develop. Robust IP laws should be given some credit as it protects the public from many counterfeit and adulterated drugs, moreso in the current global situation.
With such laws in place, IP protection is evermore so important in these unprecedented times. Turning a blind eye to protecting your brand or idea that you have created through investment of your time and effort, may result in exploitation by others and loss of commercialization opportunities.
Have any questions regarding intellectual property? Please write to us at email@example.com or call us at 03-91343113, and we shall endeavour to assist you.
Author : Robert Chua