In Malaysia and most parts of the world, textile designs are protected as Industrial Designs. Therefore, textile designs are valuable intellectual property.

Our First Lady, Datin Paduka Seri Endon Mahmood adopted the promotion of batik as her pet project ever since her husband took office.

This aggressive marketing of Malaysian batik worldwide is starting to worry Indonesia. A recent article published in The Jakarta Post stated the following:

Indonesian batik… has to compete with its Malaysian counterpart.

Malaysia has been actively promoting batik as a textile trademark at a variety of international fashion events. Fully supported by their government, Malaysian batik producers and designers freely and easily display and market their products.

They also try hard to patent every batik motif, many adapted from Indonesian patterns.

To make matters worse, many Indonesian batik makers are now working in Malaysian batik workshops, while, at the same time, a large number of batik factories in West, Central and East Java are now on the brink of bankruptcy because of a lack of capital, human resources and managerial and marketing skills.

Click here for the full article.

This is further evidence that proper government support can springboard a nation’s Intellectual Property into the global arena. If Malaysia is to be a serious contender in the global IP arena, there needs to be concerted effort between the public and private sector to promote our own unique IP creations.

Posted by: David Oh on 8/6/2005 3:21:41 PM