New Myanmar Patent Law 2019
On 11th March 2019, the Union Parliament of Myanmar passed the Patent Law (“PL”) as the Pyidaungsu Htuttaw Law No. 7/2019. The PL will come into force after the President of Myanmar issues a notification to implement it.
The PL has provided for the followings:
1. The Myanmar Intellectual Property Office (“MIPO”) will be established under the Ministry of Commerce to administer patent registrations.
2. The first-to-file system for patent registration and protection will be adopted.
3. Inventions of patent and petty patent are patentable, subject to the following conditions:-
(1) The patent invention must have novelty, inventive step and industrial application.
(2) The petty patent invention must have novelty and industrial application.
4. The non-patentable under the PL include: discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, systems and rules and manners of doing business, performance of mental action and playing games, computer program, essential biological process for production of plants and animals apart from non-biological process and organism process, plant or animal varieties and DNA including complementary DNA sequences, cells and cells lines and cell cultures and seeds, methods for the treatment of human and animal body and such diagnostic techniques, prohibitive invention against public peace and morality, etc.
5. One application can cover only one invention patent or petty patent. The same invention cannot be registered as both patent and petty patent.
6. The registration term is 20 years from the filing date for a patent and 10 years from the filing date for a petty patent. The annual fee must be paid within 6 months before the due date.
7. A compulsory license can be applied for a patent.
Trademark Law of Myanmar 2019
The Union Parliament of Myanmar finally passed the Myanmar Trademark Law (“TML”) on 30th January 2019 as a Pyidaungsu Htuttaw Law No. 3/2019 and it was signed by the President of Myanmar on the same day. It will be effective after a notification is issued by the President of Myanmar.
The TML has established a new trademark system with the following major principles:
1. The Myanmar Intellectual Property Office (“MIPO”) will be established under the Ministry of Commerce to administer trademark registration.
2. The Central Intellectual Property Committee (“CIPC”) and the Intellectual Property Agency (“IPA”) will be established to issue and implement intellectual property policies in compliance with the principles and provisions of the IP-related treaties and conventions of which Myanmar is a member state.
3. The first-to-file system for trademark registration and protection will be adopted to bring Myanmar to be in line with other ASEAN countries.
4. Trademarks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks and geographical indications will be given protection. Well-known marks and trade names will also be protected.
5. A trademark application can be filed with the MIPO with or without a priority claim. A trademark examination and opposition proceedings will be handled by the MIPO.
6. Registration of a mark is valid for ten years from the trademark application filing date and can be renewed every period of ten years. A trademark registration can be cancelled for non-use and it can be invalidated for non-registrability.
7. Each trademark already registered under the Registration Act 1908 or the Deeds Registration Law 2018 must be re-filed with the MIPO because the current trademark registration is not automatically recognized under the TML.
Industrial Design Law of Myanmar Finally Passed
The Union Parliament of Myanmar finally passed the Myanmar Industrial Design Law (“IDL”) on 30th January 2019 as a Pyidaungsu Htuttaw Law No. 2/2019 and it was signed by the President of Myanmar on the same day. However, it will be effective only after a notification is issued by the President of Myanmar.
The IDL has established a new industrial design system with the following major principles:
1. The Myanmar Intellectual Property Office (“MIPO”) will be established under the Ministry of Commerce to administer industrial design registration.
2. The first-to-file system for industrial design and protection will be adopted to bring Myanmar to be in line with other ASEAN countries.
3. To be registrable, an industrial design must be new and original.
4. An industrial design is deemed to be new if it has not been disclosed to the public domestically or abroad whether before the filing date of the application for registration of industrial design in Myanmar or before the priority date if the priority right is claimed.
5. An Industrial design is not new one if it is a combination of known industrial designs features or if it is not significantly different from the known industrial design.
6. An industrial design registration is valid for 5 years from the filing date. It can be renewed twice, 5 years each time. The total maximum term is 15 years.
KowitSomwaiya, Managing Partner, LawPlus Ltd.
Khin Khin Zaw, Partner, LawPlus Myanmar Ltd.
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