Leela practices in the areas of registration of trademarks and general advisory work relating to the various forms of IP rights including trademarks, copyright, industrial design rights and patents. She also has experience in all areas of intellectual property transactional work including advising on and drafting of licensing agreements, research and development agreements, commercialization agreements, collaboration agreements, assignment and transfer of intellectual property, distribution agreements, contract manufacturing, technology transfer, etc.
Leela handles all aspects of franchising including advising on structuring the business to suit requirements under the law in Malaysia, reviewing of franchise agreements and disclosure documents, registration of franchise and liaising with the Franchise Development Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism.
She is experienced in IT and E-Commerce matters including advising on Cyberlaws and communication and multimedia issues as well as reviewing and advising on outsourcing agreements, software license and maintenance agreements, service level agreements and related matters. Her experience also includes advising on labelling, consumer protection, data protection, privacy and competition issues.
Key Practice Areas
- IP Registration and Prosecution
- Branding, Franchising and Licensing
- Technology, Media and Telecommunications
- Successfully advised clients on strategy for protection of their intellectual property within Malaysia and in different jurisdictions around the world.
- Handled all aspects and stages of registration of intellectual property including advising on filing requirements, attending to filing at the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), advising on and responding to queries and objections from MyIPO, handling trademark oppositions and obtaining registration.
- Co-ordinated trademark filing in different countries on behalf of Malaysian companies and individuals.
- Co-ordinated trademark enforcement actions for local clients dealing in consumer products in different jurisdictions including China and the Middle East.
- Conducted IP due diligence as part of a transaction or for purposes of developing internal IP policies and strategy.
- Reviewed relevant documentation including franchise agreement, disclosure documents and manuals, and attended to obtaining regulatory approvals and registrations from the Franchise Development Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism for several well-known international franchises in the fashion industry retail trade industry, food and beverage industry etc.,
- Advised a US real estate business on franchising their brand for a real estate business in Malaysia. This involved advice on the structure of their arrangement in Malaysia to comply with the various regulations in Malaysia governing the use of foreign trademarks, licensing, franchising and foreign participation in the real estate business and review of the relevant documentation and agreements for compliance with Malaysian law.
- Advising a number of hotel chains on franchise requirements as opposed to hotel management agreements, reviewing relevant documentation and obtaining registration from the Franchise Development Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism.
- Advising a number of educations institutions and gymnasiums on establishment of franchise business in Malaysia and obtaining registration from the Franchise Development Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumerism.
- Advising a local celebrity cartoonist in reviewing, drafting, advising and conducting negotiations in relation to license agreement and other related issues for the use of his cartoon characters and artistic works for merchandising and as the theme for a food and beverage outlet.
- Advising a Dutch company in reviewing, drafting, advising and conducting negotiations in relation to a patent license agreement and related issues for granting a patent license as part of a joint venture with a public listed Malaysian company to exploit the patent and develop a new product for the international market.
- Advising a local banking institution in drafting and advising on a collaboration agreement and related issues in relation to collaboration with an educational institution to develop and conduct an educational program accredited by a foreign authority on sales management and other related matters for staff members of the bank as well as members of the public.
- Advising a Malaysian public listed lottery operator in drafting, advising and conducting negotiations in relation to a system’s supply and service agreement and other related agreements with a European company for the design, supply and maintenance of a system including hardware and software for nationwide operation in Malaysia.
- Assisting an international life insurance company in relation to reviewing, drafting, advising and conducting negotiations in relation to software supply and maintenance agreement with an IT service provider based in Hong Kong.
- Advising a leading international multimedia company on the various legal issues such as labelling, consumer protection, digital signatures, certification and registration requirements, etc., relating to the launch, import and distribution of their new multimedia equipment in Malaysia.
- Advising a government linked institution being one of the key drivers of technology development in Malaysia on all aspect of their licensing, commercialization and funding activities including reviewing all relevant documentation and advising on the requirements under the law.
- Drafting and reviewing software developments agreements, software license agreements, services agreements and related agreements.
- Patent Agent
- Trade Mark Agent
- Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (1997)
- Certificate in Legal Practice (1996)
- LL.B (Hons), University of London (1995)
- Former President, Licensing Executives Society of Malaysia
- Member, Malaysian Intellectual Property Association
- Member, Intellectual Property Committee of Malaysian Bar
Authored the following articles:
- Contributor, Malaysian chapter - International Franchising, Center for International Legal Studies (published 2012 and updated in 2013 and 2015).