Myanmar’s Peoples Parliament (Pyithu Hluttaw) passed the much anticipated Trademark Bill on 12 December 2018. The bill was passed by the first house of parliament earlier in February 2018, and now has the approval of both houses. We await confirmation if the bill will be referred for further discussion by both houses of parliament to thresh out the amendments made by each house, or if it will be now endorsed to the President for signing into law

Myanmar has long been expected to pass copyright, trademark, patent and industrial design laws. Of the four, only the Trademark and Copyright bills have approval of both house of parliament. The Copyright bill was passed by both houses in September 2018, but was subsequently referred for further discussion at the parliament level. Parliamentary discussions on the Patent and Industrial bills are underway.

The official text of the trademark bill is not yet available to the public, and we will continue to update you as this development unfolds.

The action that you should now take is to prepare to transition into the new regime.

At this point in time, there does not appear to be a transitional provision in the new law which would facilitate the carrying over of current rights (under the Declarations of Ownership) into the new registration system. If this situation continues, existing trade marks are unlikely to receive automatic registration and protection once the new regime is implemented

As such, while waiting for the new regime, you may take the following steps to prepare to transition into the new regime:

  1. review your brand protection strategy;
  2. ensure that applications for key marks in relevant classes are filed/re-filed as soon as the new system is available; and
  3. it is also advisable to audit portfolios to check that any housekeeping matters (e.g., changes of name/address) are managed.

We will be most happy to assist with the above, and advise on a specific strategy for your trade mark portfolio in Myanmar.

if you would like to find out more, please contact us or signup via the link in the Placemat here.

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