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Myanmar (MM)

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03-15-2018 (Newsletter Issue 5/18)
Final Revisions of IP Bills
The pending IP bills in Myanmar on copyright, trademarks, industrial designs, and patents were passed by the National Parliament (Amyotha Hluttaw) on February 15, 2018.

This development signals the movement of the bills from the Myanmar National Parliament to the People’s Parliament (Pyithu Hluttaw), where the final revisions to the bills may be made.

This is the furthest stage to which the four IP bills have advanced in the legislative process since they were first announced to the public


Source: www.bakermckenzie.com

10-24-2017 (Newsletter Issue 18/17)
Draft Trade Mark Law Published
From August 8-10, 2017, the draft of Myanmar’s Trade Mark Law has been published in newspapers for public comment.

The bill is now being reviewed by the concerned Draft Law Committee of the Parliament. Its approval is expected by the end of this year.

As a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the nation is expected to deliver its IP laws in the near future to provide protection for trademarks, copyright, patents, and other intellectual property.

For further information, please read the article of the law firm Mirandah Asia from Singaproe here

Source: www.mirandah.com


12-06-2016 (Newsletter Issue 22/16)
Draft Trade Mark Law in Progress
Myanmar’s Draft Trade Mark Law is expected to be passed in 2017. This signals substantial changes to the current process which is based on common law and common practice rather than statute. The Draft Law intends to import structure and certainty into Myanmar’s trademark regime to generate greater protection and preservation of intellectual property and to meet international obligations derived from the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement).

The new laws set the parameters for what constitutes a trademark and confirms that trademark protection will also be available for service marks, collective marks, certification marks and series of marks.

Under the new laws, a draft of which was made public in July. The proposed changes are:
- First-to-use system will be replaced by a first-to-file system aligning Myanmar with other ASEAN nations.
- Registration will confer protection for 10 years from the filing date, and is renewable every 10 years.
- Trademark owners will have the ability to file litigation in both civil and criminal actions against infringers in specialist Intellectual Property courts, which are in the process of being established.
- Local agents are still required to file trademarks on behalf of individuals or corporations whose ordinary residence or principal place of business lies outside Myanmar.
- Trademarks under the new laws must be distinctive and must not be registered in bad faith.
- Upon receiving the requisite forms and information the Registrar will perform an inspection and publicise the trademark inviting opposition within a defined period of time (30 days if the opponent resides in Myanmar and 60 days if the opponent resides outside Myanmar).
- A trademark can be cancelled if determined as unregistrable under the new laws. The grounds for cancellation also encompass non-use for three consecutive years, and therefore trademark owners should ensure they are actively using their trademarks in Myanmar.

To facilitate the move from first-to-use to first-to-file a transitional period of three years has been proposed to commence on the date the new law enters into force.

Owners who have a trademark recorded on the Registry of Deeds and Assurance must re-file their trademark with the Myanmar Intellectual Property Office (MIPO) when the new law comes into effect. This would preserve priority under the new system.

If the mark has not been re-filed with the MIPO, the record on the Registry of Deeds and Assurances will automatically expire when the transitional period concludes.

Source: DLA Piper LLP, Australia


07-12-2016 (Newsletter Issue 13/16)
Documentary Requirements for Trademark Application Changed
The Myanmar Registration Office has recently implemented amendments to the documentary requirements regarding applications for trade mark registration and maintenance. The changes came into effect as of June 1, 2016.

In particular, under the new regulation, in order for an application to be accepted by the Registration Office, any applicable Power of Attorney or Declaration of Ownership / Renewal / Change of Ownership form submitted must be notarized, authenticated and legalized up to the Myanmar Embassy/Consulate in the country where the applicant company is incorporated, or (in the absence of such embassy/consulate) the nearest Myanmar Embassy/Consulate. Previously, this requirement only applied to the Power of Attorney document, whilst the Declaration documents only needed to be simply signed.

The Registration Office is enforcing the new regulation strictly, with no grace period or exception made to comply. Unfortunately, this means that prospective applicants who have already executed documentation based on the old requirements will have to wait until they perfect the execution accordingly, before the Registration Office will accept their applications.

Source: www.ellacheong.asia


05-29-2012 (Newsletter Issue 9/12)
Multiple Class Registration Now Possible
The Registration Office is now accepting multiple class registration. Previously this was objected.
It depends on the Registrar, and the new officer is currently allowing one application covering multiple classes.

Source: Tin Ohnmar Tun & The Law Chambers, Myanmar


Myanmar does not have a specific trademark law. Myanmar is expected to enact a Trademark Law around the end of 2018. The draft of the Trademark Law as made available for public consultation in September 2017 adopted the registration proceedings used in other WIPO member states.
Currently, trademarks can be registered with the Myanmar Registration Office (Registry of Deeds and Assurances) under Section 18(f) of the Registration Act and Direction 13 issued under the Registration Act by registering a Declaration of Trademark Ownership (“DTO”) with the Registration Office.
One DTO can cover one trademark for one or several classes of goods or services. There is neither examination nor opposition proceedings. The registration is granted in 4 to 6 weeks if the Registrar finds the DTO conform with the Registration Act. Once the trademark is registered, it is a practice to publish a Cautionary Notice (“CN”) in a local newspaper in order to notify the public of trademark ownership and to discourage infringement of the trademark.
To register a trademark in Myanmar, the required documents are (1) a specimen of the trademark, (2) a list of goods or services, (3) a DTO signed by the applicant and notarized by a notary public, and (4) a Power of Attorney (“POA”) signed by the applicant and notarized and legalized by the Embassy of Myanmar.
Each document executed abroad must be filed in Myanmar within 3 months from its execution date.
A trademark registration is valid without an expiry date. But it is a practice for the owner of a registered trademark to publish a CN every 3 years to notify the public that the trademark is still owned by the owner or to re-register a DTO of the mark with the Registration Office every period of 3 years.
The actual use of a trademark in the local market is essential and the Court takes it into account in conjunction with its registration and publication when the Court considers a dispute in relation to the trademark.
The Nice Classification is used for registration of a DTO but it is not officially adopted by the Registration Offices.
As Myanmar does not have a trademark law; there are no clear guidelines on what constitute a registrable trademark. Under the Registration Act 1908, any visually perceptible sign, such as a word, device or their combination, can be registered as a trademark.
There is no Patent and Trademark Registration Office in Myanmar. Application is to be filed at the Myanmar Registration Office (Registry of Deeds and Assurances).
Applicant files the DTO and the POA with the Registration Office.
Registration is granted and registered DTO is returned to the applicant.
Applicant publishes CN in a local newspaper.
National:
There is neither examination nor opposition proceedings. Cancellation in Court is available post registration of a trademark.
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Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee for filing a trademark application is MMK 6.00.

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Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Country Survey
01-29-2018
LawPlus Myanmar Ltd., Yangon, Myanmar  

07-05-2016
Ella Cheong LLC, Singapore, Singapore

12-18-2013
Myanmar Trademark and Patent Law Firm, Yangon, Myanmar

05-22-2012
Tin Ohnmar Tun & The Law Chambers, Yangon, Myanmar

04-25-2012
Myanmar Trademark and Patent Law Firm, Yangon, Myanmar