Long journey Myanmar Trademark Law soon to be enforced; Here’s to inform what businesses need to know


Tun Mon Thet (NP News) – Mar 13

For years long with outdated and sub-standard provisions for patent, copyright, and trademark rights in Myanmar, it’s getting now close to portraying complete law enforcement of the #Trademark_Law – which is one of four legal supplies under #Myanmar_Intellectual_Property_Laws.

The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw enacted and passed four IP laws in 2019: Trademark Law (enacted on 30th January 2019); Industrial Design Rights Law (enacted on 30th January 2019); Patent Law (enacted on 11th March 2019); and Copyright Law (enacted on 24th May 2019) respectively. None of which has yet come into effect.

Notwithstanding, the Myanmar Trademark Law’s Phase-two of the Soft Opening period has been confirmed to launch the legal enforcement on 1st April accordingly to the notification signed by the Chairman of the State Administration Council Senior General Min Aung Hlaing on March 10.

This article takes references from information and analysis shared by the corporate law firms in Myanmar in this revolution for the new IP regime aiming to inform what businesses of either locals or foreign should know about changes and developments in the new regulations of transitioning from first-to-use trademark registration system to the first-to-file system.

There are 12 Chapters with 106 Sections in the Trademark Law.

According to the current roadmap, registrations of the ‘existing’ and ‘old’ trademarks in Phase one will be ongoing through online services with the assistance of the WIPO filing representatives till 1st April as per the WIPO filing system.

‘Existing’ and ‘old’ trademarks include the trademarks that have been registered at the Office of the Registrar of Deeds and Assurances and the trademarks in the market. The Over-the-Counter trademark registration service will be available at the respective legal infrastructure of the Intellectual Properties Right departments located in Yangon and Naypyidaw after the law is in effect as part of Phase two.

The eligible trademark owners who wish to file applications in Phase two may apply on their own through the reception counters (OTC) and/ or through law firms, companies, or enterprises permitted by the Myanmar Intellectual Properties Department.

“After 30 days from 1st April, the Grand Opening will be launched. Then, the old trademarks will no longer be granted the initial right to register a trademark for the first used. The standard application date will be available for both old and new trademarks after the Grand Opening,” Minn Tayzar Nyunt Tin, the CEO of the Biz Law Consult Myanmar told NP News – English Edition.

According to a legal partnership Kelvin Chia Yangon, it is stated that “As clarified by the MIPD at the discussion panel, the MIPD will begin phase-three with the grand opening, following the successful conclusion of phase-two. When the grand opening commences, the MIPD will continue to accept applications for old trademarks for a limited period as well as applications for new trademarks. ASer the conclusion of phase three, the MIPD will commence phase four during which the MIPD will only accept applications for new trademarks.”

Section 94 of the Myanmar Trademark Law prescribes: “Regardless of the provisions in any other existing law: (a) registration of a mark must be carried out according to this Law. (b) Any offense regarding a mark must be punished according to this Law only.”

With regard to Section 94 of the law, Biz Law Consult Myanmar’s CEO urged the trademark owners to file as per the Myanmar Trademark Law instead of registration under the rules and directives of the Registration of Deeds Law which is outweighed in legal value by the Myanmar Trademark Law.

The provision to submit the certification of the ‘local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises’ isn't for rule liberalization for the local MSMEs, which is following the national treatment policy, but for record, according to the Biz Law Consult Myanmar.

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