Recent years witness the rushing foreign investment, especially from Chinese, Singaporean and EU investors into Myanmar, the conflicts and disputes in the field of Intellectual Property (IP) in Myanmar appear more and more frequent as a consequence, however, the current legal system of Myanmar is not sufficient to regulate such disputes. Recognizing the indispensability of an IP law system to protect the IP assets of foreign investors and further attract investment capital, the Government of Myanmar has made strong commitments to establish an IP Law system.
Submitted since July and August of 2017, the IP bills of Myanmar on Patent, Industrial Design, Trademark and Copyright have been passed by the Upper House (Amyotha Hluttaw) on February 15, 2018.
Then in accordance with current legislation in Myanmar, these four IP bills will be submitted to the Lower House (Pyithu Hluttaw) and the Assembly of the Union of Myanmar (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) where the final discussions will take place and the final revisions may be made before submitting to the President Office for final approval, which is expected in this June.
The expected enactment of the new IP Law will substantially change the current IP registration and protection practices in Myanmar, aligning them to the International standards and practices, on the other hand, facilitating and encouraging business environment in Myanmar.
Not out of expectation, some of the main features of IP bills of Myanmar are as follows:
– Myanmar has been a member of WIPO since 2001 but not yet member of any WIPO’s treaties so far. The registration of patents at the ORD has been suspended since September of the last year. Under the new Patent Law, a patent registration system will be established that procedures harmonize with international standards.
– For the first time ever, the Industrial Design registration system will be established in Myanmar to replace the current procedure of registering a design by a Declaration of Ownership. Once the new Industrial Design Law comes in to force, registration of a design will be valid for five year from the filing date and renewable for two additional terms of five years each.
– The first-to-file principle will replace the current first-to-use system with the Office for Registration of Deeds (ORD). Accordingly, an Intellectual Property Section within Ministry of Education is established to replace the ORD to be in charge of trademark registration.
As a consequence, the registered trademarks under the current system will be not be carried over the new system. This is the most anticipated issues related to the passage of the new trademark law and apparently, the registered trademarks should be re-filed to benefit from the protections provided by the new law, i.e, registration of a trademark will be valid for ten years from the filing date and renewable every ten years.
As one of the leading service providers in Myanmar’s IP market, Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants is pleased to answer any of your inquiries relating to IP rights establishment in Myanmar.