Following updates to the Myanmar Trademark law in 2019, a soft opening to implement the updates in the law and the new electronic filing system commenced on 1 October 2020, which was expected to last for a period of 6 months until the Grand Opening.
On 12 January 2023, the Myanmar Intellectual Property Department (IPD) released the following announcement: –
(a) Grand opening date- The Trademark Law (2019) is planned to be fully enforced in March 2023.
(b) Once enforcement of the new law has commenced, applications for registration of a trade mark in Myanmar will be officially accepted including payment.
(c) A valid trade mark representative in Myanmar must have a WIPO File User Account and a completion certificate of the trade mark Registration training conducted by the IPD.
(d) Therefore, WIPO File User Account holders who have not attended the former training programs by IPD and those who wish to register as the trade mark representatives in Myanmar are required to complete the required training.
(e) To that end the Trademark Registration Representative Training Course (1/2023) will be opened in February 2023.
In the first week of April 2023, the IPD announced that the new Trademark Law will take effect from 1 April 2023, with Phase Two of the soft opening period commencing on 3 April 2023 until 25 April2023. The Grand Opening Period starts from 26 April 20 23.
During Phase Two of the soft opening:
- Trade mark proprietors with prior registration in Myanmar by way of Declarations of Trademark Ownership (DTO) and/or publication of cautionary notices, or who have been using their trade marks in Myanmar, before 31 March 2023 could make use of this limited window period to re-file their trade mark applications before anyone else;
- All trade marks re-filed during the soft opening period should be completed with the payment of the official filing fees and notarized Power of Attorney, which will then be designated a filing date corresponding to the Grand Opening date.
From 26 April 2023, anyone who is interested in seeking trade mark protection in Myanmar may file trade mark applications through a duly authorized local trade mark representative. Further developments are eagerly awaited, and in particular, how the re-filed applications will be processed and examined.
By: Denise Mirandah, Lin Lixia & Jaynthi Kanesarajah
This article was first published in the Pharmaceutical Trade Marks Group (PTMG) Law Lore & Practice.