Malaysia is preparing to sue the United States over a new patent, saying it is in violation of a law that prohibits a country from infringing another country’s intellectual property.
The US Patent and Trademark Office is investigating allegations that Malaysian firms are infringing on patents belonging to the United Kingdom and Australia, and is asking Malaysia to join a lawsuit to prevent the United State from infringing intellectual property rights of other countries.
Malaysia says the US is using an outdated patent law and that it does not infringe its rights.
The United States is the world’s biggest patent holder with 1.7 billion patents and 765,000 applications filed, according to the US Patent & Trademark office.
The US also has a large number of patents on the market, with about 60 percent of the world economy, or $1.4 trillion, covered by them.
The issue arose in 2014 when Malaysia filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission alleging that it had infringed US Patent No. 6,854,726 on a variety of devices and equipment, according the agency.
Malay officials filed a formal complaint on March 4.
The complaint was submitted by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and the Office of the Director of Patent Office.
It accused the US of using an obsolete patent law that gives countries exclusive rights to certain intellectual property, the US Justice Department said in a statement.
Malayan officials say the US filed its complaint in violation with the Patent Act, which prohibits a US company from using an unpatented work.
The law says that a country may not “make or enforce any patent or patent application that is not licensed by the United Nations or other international body” and does not provide “any right, privilege or benefit of any kind.”
The US said it had “no comment” on the case.