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Myanmar's Impending Trademark Law - What does the new law encompass?

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Myanmar will soon have a formal trademark registration system in place once the Myanmar Trademark Law 2019 comes into effect. The Trademark Law was passed by the Lower House on 12 December 2018, following its adoption by the Upper House on 15 February 2018, and was enacted on 30 January 2019. The coming into effect date has yet to be announced though recently, the Myanmar Ministry of Commerce announced that the “soft-opening” period for existing trademarks that were registered by way of a Declaration of Ownership with the Office of Registration of Deeds or trademarks that are in actual use in Myanmar to be re-filed/filed will commence on 1 October 2020. ​ Apart from establishing a formal framework for a comprehensive trademark registration system which adheres to international standards, the enactment of the Trademark Law also signifies the inception of a modern intellectual property regime for the country. With the new Trademark Law, the current practice of registration of Declarations of Ownership with the Office of Registration of Deeds and publication of Cautionary Notices in newspapers in Myanmar will no longer be relevant. Once the new law enters into force, the existing Declarations and Cautionary Notices will no longer be sufficient to demonstrate ownership of marks in Myanmar. ​ Some of the notable features of the system under the new Trademark Law are as below:- ​ System The new law introduces “first-to-file” system which replaces the “first-to-use” principle under the current law, and requires no evidence of prior use or ownership in Myanmar. ​ Types of Marks The Trademark Law includes provisions for registering well-known marks and recognition to trade, certification, collective and 3D (shapes and packaging) marks. ​ Registration

  • The registration process includes application filing, formalities examination, followed by substantive examination. Once the application clears the substantive examination by the Registrar, it proceeds to publication for opposition and the Registration Certificate will be issued.

  • Once registered, trademarks will be protected for ten (10) years from the date of application, and can be renewed every ten (10) years.