With the upcoming adoption of the new Trademark Law in January 2020, Myanmar is on the verge of a major legal and economic transformation.

Under the outgoing Registration Act, brand owners could register a declaration of ownership and publish a cautionary notice for trademarks every three years to obtain some sort of protection. Under the new Law, however, Myanmar aims to bring its legal system in line with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

With the Law entering into force, the Trademark Office in Myanmar will launch a “soft opening” trial period that will run from January 2020 until June 2020, which will allow recorded marks to be registered. The new Law will allow multiple classes to be filed under the same mark and will grant protection for a period of ten years from filing date. During the soft opening period, all marks currently recorded should be re-filed on a first-to-file basis and examined by the TMO.

After the end of the trial period, the TMO will begin accepting new applications. Filing requirements are: (1) POA, notarized and legalized by the Consulate of Myanmar, (2) sample of the proposed mark, and (3) class(es) and lists of goods/services.

In case a mark was previously filed under the old system, a scanned copy of Registered/ Renewed Declaration of Ownership of Trademark will be required. Evidence of use in Myanmar may be required if an opposition proceeding is filed by third parties after publication in the Official Gazette.

Myanmar shows its commitment to develop and establish a competent IP system and demonstrates its awareness of the strategic importance of IP on the country’s economic development. We expect that the proper application and enforcement of IP laws, Myanmar will become more of an innovative hub in Southeast Asia.

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