After its second reading, the long-awaited bill of the Malaysian Trademarks Act 2019 was finally passed on the 2nd July 2019. The Act entails Malaysia’s accession to the Madrid Protocol as well as the ability to now register both multi-class applications and non-traditional marks.

As a result of the Act, the filing date will only be recorded once formality requirements have been fulfilled, whilst a substantive examination will be based both on absolute and relative grounds. A Certificate of Registration will no longer be issued by the Registrar, unless requested; rather, the Registrar will have to issue a notification of the registration with the seal of the Registrar. Recording the registered user of a trademark will no longer occur, although a licence can still be recorded and be effective (if it is in writing and signed in or on behalf of the grantor). Another notable change under this new Act is the period of validity of a trademark registration, which has shifted from being up to seven years to up to five years.

The Trademarks Act has not yet come into effect; however, it will do so once it has been notified about in the Gazette.