Neelofa’s mum Noor Kartini apologises after pulling ‘Harimau Menangis’ trademark application
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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 14 — Entrepreneur Datin Noor Kartini Noor Mohammed has withdrawn her application to trademark the recipe for ‘Harimau Menangis’ with the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO).

Utusan Malaysia reported the mother of actress Neelofa as apologising for “the confusion”, adding that she hopes the withdrawal of her application will put to rest the controversy, which went viral on social media.

“I made the decision to cancel the ‘Harimau Menangis’ trademark application as soon as possible. In actuality, I applied (with MyIPO) to protect my business brand and agents from imitation products,” Noor Kartini said.

“I apologise and am aware of the confusion that has resulted. I hope my decision is self-explanatory and can settle things,” Noor Kartini said during a brief virtual media conference.

When asked if she meant to trademark the recipe and affect the livelihoods of others, the entrepreneur said that was never her intention.

“It is not my intention to get in the way of anyone making a living. I hope the issue is now resolved and will not be prolonged,” Noor Kartini said.

She faced a barrage of criticism from Malaysian internet users after a screenshot of her application, dated November 24 last year, made the rounds.

As of November 30, the application status was under formal verification.

Noor Kartini appeared to confuse matters further when she was videoed cooking the ‘Harimau Menangis’ dish, and for implying that the recipe had already been patented.

Yesterday, MyIPO chairman Datuk Mohamad Alamin said dissatisfied parties can contest a company’s bid to trademark the ‘Harimau Menangis’ recipe and phrase if they believe it was incorrectly sought.

He explained that MyIPO maintains a ‘first-to-file’ basis for trademark applications but retained avenues for objections from aggrieved parties, and said such a challenge would then force the applicant to substantiate their trademark claim.

The recipe and phrase is a Malay term originally derived from the Thai dish suea rong hai, which is a spiced brisket of beef that has been grilled and sliced into small pieces, and served alongside glutinous rice or as accompaniment to other dishes.