Myanmar does not currently have any IP Laws. IP rights are protected by the filing of a Declaration of Ownership with the Registry of Deeds, and the publication of a Cautionary Notice in a local newspaper, in order to alert third parties to the existence of an IP right.
 
On 30th January 2019, a new trade mark law was passed by the Myanmar Parliament. It will enter into force after an Intellectual Property Office is established. We are pleased to report that after many delays, the Intellectual Property Office opened on 1st October 2020. 
 
There will be a further 6 months before the new trade mark law enters into force. During this transitional “soft opening period”, the IPO is accepting applications for trade marks which have been recorded at the Registry of Deeds under the current system of trade mark protection in Myanmar. All applications filed in the soft opening  period will receive a filing date of the date the new law comes into force.
 
We recommend that those who have registered Declarations of Ownership and have published Cautionary Notices in respect of their trade marks in Myanmar should file their trade marks at the IPO during the 6 month soft opening period, in order to receive the earliest possible filing date, which we assume will be 1st April 2021. Such trade marks will be given priority over other trade marks filed when the new law enters into force. The new trade mark law will change Myanmar from a common law system, where trade mark rights are accrued through use, to a civil law jurisdiction in which trade mark rights are granted to the first to file. 
 
We encourage those who have registered Declarations of Ownership in Myanmar to forward instructions to file their trade marks at the IPO as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Regulations, including the official fees, have yet to be published, so we are unable to advise of the cost of filing under the new law yet. This information will be made available as soon as the official fees have been finalised. Furthermore, whilst we understand that applicants will have to provide a notarised application form, the application form has not been released to the public yet. However, our contacts in Myanmar can file trade mark applications with the IPO without these documents at the outset.
 

If you wish to file any of your trade marks during the soft opening period, please contact the author, Martin Chinnery, at martin@lysaght.co.uk.