MIRI: Sarawak sour eggplant locally known as ‘terung Iban’ or ‘terung assam’ and ‘dabai’ have been included among the state’s eight products registered as intellectual property under Geographical Indication (GI) by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).
The corporation chairman Datuk Abdul Manan Ismail officiating at Intellectual Property Awareness Seminar held here said the vegetable and edible olive-shaped fruit indigenous to Sarawak joined Bario Rice and two other local rice species, pepper and a herb in having their rights protected by the corporation.
“We commend the effort made by the state government to have the rights of these products protected and made exclusive Sarawak products through the Agriculture Department Sarawak,” said Abdul Manan.
Also protected of its right under Geographical Indication is the famous ‘Kek Lapis Sarawak’ (Sarawak Layered Cake), Abdul Manan disclosed further.
“It is important for the products to have its pattern and rights protected. There a lot of products which are unique, special and available in the state. However, producers especially small and minor enterprises (SME) should have them registered with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia as soon as possible to protect their rights and pattern,” he added.
In this context, he proposed that initiative be made to have ‘highland salt’ from Bario and Ba’Kelalan including apple from Ba’Kelalan registered as intellectual property under Geographical Indication.
Earlier, Abdul Manan revealed increased awareness among small and minor enterprise entrepreneurs of the importance of protecting the rights or pattern of their services and products through the corporation.
“As of October this year, there have been 404 applications or submissions made by entrepreneurs and individuals from Sarawak. This is an increase of 34 percent from 301 submissions or applications received in the same period in 2011,” he added.