Although Myanmar has yet to promulgate its own specific trademark law, this does not mean that there is no law concerning trademarks in that country. Trademarks and the process by which they are registered are contained in several statutes, most notably the Penal Code of 1860, which gives the definition of a trademark; the Private Industrial Enterprise Law, which provides that no business is allowed to “distribute or sell its goods without trademark;” and, most importantly, the Registration Act which governs the procedure and requirements for registration of all property, including trademarks.
At present, all trademark applications are filed in the form of a “Declaration of Ownership of Trademark” pursuant to Section 18 of the Registration Act. Each trademark must be filed using one Declaration separately.
The minimum requirements for trademark registration in Myanmar are as follows:
- Applicant needs to be a Myanmar national or juridical person or, if a foreign applicant, must act through an agent with an address for service inside the country;
- Applicant must execute a Declaration of Ownership of Trademark pursuant to Section 18 of the Registration Act;
- A foreign applicant must execute a Special Power of Attorney in favour of the local agent; and
- It is customary to publish a “Cautionary Notice” in a Myanmar newspaper, advertising the mark holder’s ownership. It is also customary (and advisable) to republish the Cautionary Notice every three years to keep third parties on notice of the mark holder’s ownership
The relevant trademark must be in use and registered in the country of origin, although not necessarily in use in Myanmar yet.
The Power of Attorney and Declaration of Ownership must be executed and authenticated in the presence of a Notary Public. Notarial authentication requires diplomatic legalization at the Myanmar Embassy/ Consulate in the country where the Applicant’s company is incorporated. The Power of Attorney MUST be signed by the representative/officer of the company who signed the Declaration of Ownership.
After submission of the Declaration of Ownership of Trademark and Power of Attorney forms, the trademark application will then be registered. After registration, a Cautionary Notice will be published.
Trademark renewal is NOT compulsory, but it is advisable to renew the trademark in 3 or 5 years. In order to renew the trademark, submission of Declaration of Renewal of Trademark and Power of Attorney is required. The Power of Attorney MUST be signed by the representative/officer of the company who signed the Declaration of Renewal of Trademark. Each trademark must be filed in one separate Declaration with a copy of the original registration document.
It is important to note that at the time of application for registration, all documents must have a validity period of three (3) months from the date of execution in their country of origin.