31 March 2022 – Malaysia has officially acceded to the Budapest Treaty and Marrakesh Treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and subsequently became a member and complied with the provisions of both agreements.

In line with that, Malaysia today deposited the instrument of ratification of the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure (Budapest Treaty) and also the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access To Published Works For Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired Or Otherwise Print Disabled (Marrakesh Treaty) at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva. The instrument of ratification was signed by the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi and handed over by Malaysia’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Datuk Dr. Ahmad Faisal Muhamad to the Director General of WIPO, Darren Tang.

Malaysia’s accession in the Budapest Treaty will enable the recognition of storage of microorganisms for the purpose of patent procedures. Through this treaty the patent applicant only needs to keep a sample of microorganisms in one International Depositary Authority (IDA) only. This will avoid repetition of retention procedures in various countries when applicants file patent applications in various Budapest Treaty member countries.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s accession as a member of the Marrakesh Treaty will contribute to the country’s socio-economic progress by providing exemptions from obtaining permission from copyright owners to make and distribute reading materials in accessible format copy for the visually impaired.

This is a government’s effort in improving the availability of educational materials in an accessible format for the blind, visually impaired & print disabled. This Treaty grants exemptions to copyright protection including the requirement to pay royalties. Hence it promotes social integration and cultural participation to persons with disabilities through equal access.

It also aims to increase access to reading materials in an accessible format from abroad and benefit the visually impaired, especially in the field of higher education and research. Malaysia’s participation will provide wider access to approximately 51,323 visually impaired people registered with the Social Welfare Department to reading materials in an accessible format.

Malaysia’a accession in the Marrakesh Treaty reflects the country’s commitment to the obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). It also demonstrates Malaysia’s strong support for the 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular SDG 1 – End Poverty; SDG 4 – Quality Education; SDG 5 – Gender Equality; and SDG 10 – Reducing inequality.