The long-awaited new law will bring major changes to Myanmar’s trademark practice. Some of the main features are as follows:
1. The creation of a dedicated body: the Myanmar Intellectual Property Office (MIPO) will be responsible for the registration of trademarks, patents and designs.
2. A classic application process: the law will introduce standard formality and substantive examination, a publication for oppositions, and issuance of a certificate of registration.
3. The new definition of the mark: a “mark” will include trademarks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, 3D marks (shapes and packaging) and geographical indications. Well-known marks and trade names will also be granted protection.
4. Recognition of the international classification of goods and services: the Nice Classification with 45 classes of goods and services will be officially adopted.
5. Priority claim: trademark owners will be able to claim priority from any application or registration filed in a Paris Convention country within a period of six months from the first filing, which is remarkable considering that Myanmar is not yet a signatory to the Paris Convention.
6. A new “first-to-file” system: Myanmar will shift from a “first-to-use” system to a “first-to-file” system aligning the country with most of the other ASEAN countries.
7. 10-year validity: registration of a mark is valid for ten years from the trademark application filing date. It can be renewed indefinitely every ten years for a further 10-year term.
8. Cancellations and invalidations: a trademark registration can be cancelled for non-use or invalidated for non-registrability by third parties.
9. Infringements and counterfeiting: the new law will introduce administrative, civil and criminal penalties for trademark infringements and counterfeiting.
10. Language: the documents can be submitted either in English or in the local language.
The owners of trademarks registered under the old system will benefit from a transitional period to re-file their trademarks under the new system and as such will enjoy a right of priority over new applicants who will have to wait for the end of this soft-opening period to file new applications. This soft opening period is expected to be in operation within the next couple of weeks. For more details, please read our article on 2020: A new trademark law in Myanmar.
The effective date of the Trademark Law will be announced at a later stage (by means of official notification from the President), and we will provide further details as soon as they become available.
The new law will streamline the process of trademark registration, prosecution and litigation and will establish a framework for a comprehensive trademark registration system that is expected to increase foreign investments in Myanmar.
At IPHub Asia, we specialize in trademark prosecution and provide Asia-wide coverage from one central location, Singapore. If you have any questions about the changes in the 2020 trademark system in Myanmar, you can contact one of our specialists.
You can also visit our website to know more about what we do and the services we offer.
*This text is compliant with international norms and the TRIPS Agreement.