As per the official order from Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC), the soft opening period for filing trademark applications under the new trademark registration system will be launched on 1st October 2020. There is no conclusive information about the duration of the soft opening or when the grand opening period will begin. However, based on our latest communication with the Registry’s representatives, we anticipate that the soft period will last six months, in which case, the grand opening period would start on 1st April 2021.
Filing your trademark during this soft period will give you priority over new applications. The Registry will accept applications of trademarks:
- that have been registered as per the old system
If you have trademark registrations in this jurisdiction, it is important to re-file applications during the soft opening period commencing on 1st October 2020, if you intend to maintain protection in this jurisdiction. Based on the draft application form we have examined, it seems that evidence of use in Myanmar is not compulsory for re-filing but the trademark should be in use in the country of origin or in other countries.
- that have been put to actual use in Myanmar before
Publication of a Cautionary Notice would suffice to establish use of your mark in Myanmar. As such, if you do not have any registration in this jurisdiction yet, we would encourage you to arrange for publication of the Cautionary Notice on an urgent basis to be able to file the trademark application during the soft opening period.
Based on our preliminary discussion with the Registry, we understand that all the applications filed during the soft opening period shall bear the same filing date of 1st October 2020. This being said, we encourage you to file your trademark applications without delay as the actual filing date might be important to determine prior rights in case there are identical and/or similar trademarks.
We clarify that the details on the applications to be filed during the soft opening period must be identical to the ones on the earliest application. If you have been using our services for the initial filing(s), we have the supporting documents in our files. If not, we would need the following:
1. Applicant/owner’s details;
2. Clear specimen of the mark to be re-registered;
3. Classes and list of goods and/or services;
4. Scanned copy of the stamped Declaration of Ownership of Trademark;
5. In case the mark has not been registered yet: a copy of the Cautionary Notice as published (if any) and/or evidence of use of the trademark in Myanmar if the mark is already in use.
Applications filed during the soft opening period will have to go through a full examination process and will be published for opposition purposes. It is therefore important to start compiling evidence of use of your mark in Myanmar in order to establish prior rights – if and when required.
The Registry will announce further requirements, fees and regulations on implementation of the new law in the near future, as the soft opening period progresses. We will closely monitor the situation and keep you updated in this regard.
We would like to highlight that our advice and comments related to Myanmar’s new trademark system are based on the communication from the Registry, our preliminary analysis of the supporting official documents and our discussions with the officers. We cannot give you any guarantee in this connection, at this stage, but we will not fail to revert as soon as we receive further official communication from the Registry.
Please let us know if you are interested in refiling your trademarks in Myanmar so that we can advise you further and help you prepare the above information/documents in due time.
At IPHub Asia, we look forward to hearing from you and we remain at your disposal should you require any clarification.