KUCHING, Sept 16 (Bernama) -- The state goverment will embark on severalprogrammes to encourage Sarawak-based manufacturers to patent theirproducts in a bid to ensure local products are not exploited by developedcountries.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam said based on thefeedback received, the number of Sarawak-based manufacturers registeringtheir patent was quite low and the trend seemed to cover nationwide.
"Last year, only 322 or six percent of Malaysian manufacturers of out atotal of 4,937 applications for patent rights were received while the restwere from Japan, China, Britain and the United States," he told reportersafter opening a seminar on "Intellectual Property" here today.
Dr Chan, who is also state Industrial Development Minister, said among thefew examples Sarawak-made products that could be patented were Sibu-madevessels.
He said shipbuilders in Sibu had shown remarkable success in exportingtheir vessels to Singapore and beyond but at the moment, there were noefforts to patent the industrial design to enable them to stay competitivein the industry.
Earlier in his opening speech, Dr Chan said due to ignorance in patentrights, Malaysia had lost its claim of ownership of a vitamin E productextracted from palm oil.
"The product was discovered following a research at a local university butit was patented in Japan," he said.
From this bitter experience, he advised local universities, researchinstitutions and manufacturing sectors, to register their discoveries withthe Malaysia Intellectual Property Corporation before announcing itpublicly.
He said the state goverment would continue to assist in promotingSarawak-brand names both in national and international level.
The one-day seminar was organised by the Sarawak Manufacturers'Association and attended by more than 100 manufacturers.