Legal Updates for April 2019

Digital Tax on Foreign Digital Service Providers to be Enforced from 1 January 2020

The Government of Malaysia will impose a digital service tax of 6% on foreign digital service providers with effect from 1 January 2020, with the annual threshold being set at RM500,000, according to the Malaysian Deputy Finance Minister after the tabling of the Service Tax (Amendment) Bill 2019 (the "Amendment Bill") on 8 April 2019. The Amendment Bill was subsequently amended and passed by the lower house of the Malaysian Parliament. Upon the Amendment Bill being passed by the upper house of Parliament and receiving the royal assent, foreign digital service providers such as Spotify and Netflix will be taxed commencing 1 January 2020.

Malaysian High Court Applies Doctrine of Equivalents in Patent Infringement Suit

The Improver questions were once the bedrock of patent infringement principles. Such foundations have been shaken by the seismic shift in approach taken by the UK Courts in recognising the Doctrine of Equivalents. Closer to home, the effects of these have begun to take root, starting with the High Court’s decision in Kingtime International Limited & Anor v Petrofac E&C Sdn Bhd. This client update explores the merits of this eyebrow raising decision and what may lie in store for the future of Malaysian patent litigation.

Have you Earned the TRUST of MACC? – Practical Measures to Defend Against Corporate Liability Charges

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission issued guidelines on adequate procedures (“Guidelines”) earlier this year. Under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, adequate procedures are a defence against a corporate liability charge. Given the heightened efforts by the authorities to combat corrupt activities in the public and private sector, it is timely for commercial organisations to look inwards and do a stock take of their best practices against the Guidelines. This client update explores the types of adequate procedures a commercial organisation can weave into its existing compliance program.