February 07, 2019


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) today released its seventh annual International Intellectual Property (IP) Index, “Inspiring Tomorrow,” which analyzes the IP climate in 50 world economies. The report ranks economies based on 45 unique indicators that are critical to an innovation-led economy supported by robust patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets protection.

The seventh edition of the Index ranks Malaysia 24th out of 50 economies. Malaysia’s overall score increased from 48.68 percent in the 6th edition to 49.70 percent in the 7th edition.

Malaysia’s score illustrates how the country has taken some positive steps to bring its IP framework more closely in line with its Southeast Asian economy peers.” said Ellen Szymanski, executive director, international policy at GIPC. “Given how much progress Malaysia has made in improving its IP framework in the seven editions of the Index, it is critical that the government rejects further attempts to weaken the IP framework through the use of compulsory licenses. Further, to emerge as a leading middle-income economy and continue to attract global investment, the government must create a more robust patent environment, which is critical to protecting innovative, biopharmaceutical innovation in Malaysia.”

The U.S. Chamber International IP Index creates a blueprint for policymakers in countries like Malaysia, who wish to bolster economic growth, create jobs, and foster innovation and creativity. The Index findings also show that pro-IP policies in Malaysia have the potential to increase

Malaysia’s economic competitiveness as it strives to become a leader in Southeast Asia and on the global stage. It presents an objective, data-driven view of competitiveness in a global market, based on criteria used by the business community when determining where to invest.

“The 2019 Index can serve as a roadmap for the Malaysian government to create a stronger overall business environment through more effective IP regime.” added Szymanski. “Through stronger IP policies, Malaysia will increase its ability to attract more venture capital, foreign investment, and private sector investment in R&D.”

Key areas of strength

  • New case law that strengthens the customs enforcement environment against infringing goods in transit
  • Generous R&D and IP-specific tax incentives in place
  • Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) has PPH agreements in place with both the EPO and the JPO
  • Strong focus by the Malaysian government on IP as a commercial asset and technology transfer

Key areas of weakness

  • Government use license (the equivalent of a compulsory license) issued in 2017 for sofosbuvir, a new breakthrough medicine to treat hepatitis C
  • De facto RDP full term of protection is not offered to new products
  • Patent term restoration not offered

The full Index can be viewed at