Mother of Malaysian celebrity Neelofa sparks uproar on Twitter for applying to trademark ‘Harimau Menangis’ — a traditional Thai dish

Milad Hassandarvish
·2-min read
Datin Noor Kartini Noor Mohamed sparked controversy online for attempting to trademark the words ‘harimau menangis’. – Pictures via Instagram/noorkartini and Facebook/Makan Sedap Bangi
Datin Noor Kartini Noor Mohamed sparked controversy online for attempting to trademark the words ‘harimau menangis’. – Pictures via Instagram/noorkartini and Facebook/Makan Sedap Bangi

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 — Social media was abuzz after a screengrab of MyIPO application, reportedly by Noor Khan Enterprise to trademark “harimau menangis” made its rounds on Twitter.

The company, which belongs to celebrity entrepreneur Neelofa’s mother Datin Noor Kartini Noor Mohamed, is believed to have made an application to trademark the Malay name which has its origins in the Thai dish Sua Rong Hai.

A screengrab of the application dated November 24, 2020 shows the status was “under formality verification” as of November 30, 2020.

Many angry social media users took to Twitter criticising the move, saying it would affect small business owners selling the dish.

Several users also lodged a complaint to intellectual property regulators and shared a screengrab to encourage others to follow suit.

“Finished reporting to help other trades who have long used the words harimau menangis,” wrote @Kuntum_

Another user tweeted that objections can be made through MyIPO under Trademark & Geographical Indications.

Some users also questioned how is it possible to trademark the name of a dish that was not invented by the person.

Malay language activist @UBMalaysia cited Dewan Perdana dictionary to point out that ‘harimau menangis’ is a common name and is referred to as a beef cut rather than a dish.

The Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) provides registration services for patents, trademarks, industry designs, geographic indicators and voluntary copyrights.

Based on its website, trademark applications take about seven months from the date of filling for expedited examination applications and 12 months for normal applications.

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