25 Oct 2023
The Myanmar’s State Administration Council has recently issued notifications announcing the enforcement of the country’s Industrial Designs (“ID”) Law and Copyright Law on 31 October 2023. This imminent enforcement is much welcomed as it has been pending since their enactment in 2019.
Industrial Designs Law
Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce has also announced the Industrial Design Rules on 29 September 2023 via Notification No. 67/2023, which stipulate the procedures relating to ID law, including registration, examination, opposition, licensing and others.
For ID to be registrable in Myanmar, the applications can be made either in the Myanmar or English language. The following details should be included in the application, among others:
Name of Applicant, address and ID number (passport or national citizenship scrutiny card number for individuals, legal incorporation ID number for entities)
Name of representative (if the application is filed by a representative, address and national scrutiny card number)
A sufficiently clear representation of the ID
Indication of the products to which the ID is applied or embodied
Description of ID in not more than 100 words
Number of IDs (up to 100, all products must be under the same Locarno Classification)
Any priority claim (if applicable)
Period of deferment of publication (if applicable)
Term of Registration and Renewal
The term of registered ID shall be 5 years from the filing date of the application and is renewable within 6 months of expiry for another 5 years, twice. The maximum period of validity is thus 15 years.
The ID law confers the right to claim priority on applicants who have filed an application in a country that is party to the Paris Convention, or the World Trade Organisation, within 6 months prior to the Myanmar filing date.
An applicant should file a declaration claiming such priority together with evidence in support (which may be submitted within 3 months from date of application). If the applicant claiming priority is not the same applicant in the earlier application, the applicant must submit documents proving the transfer of the priority right by the earlier applicant.
If any priority is claimed resulting from the display of industrial design in an exhibition, a declaration to that effect, together with evidence in support of that should be submitted within 3 months from the date of submission of the application.
Deferment of Publication of ID
A notable feature of the ID law is that an applicant may defer the publication of an ID to a later date. Such deferment shall not exceed 18 months from the date of filing or date of priority (if claimed). Such deferment may be advantageous for applicants who wish to keep their design under wraps and unpublished after an application has been made.
Right holders who have had their ID rights infringed may file a civil suit in the Intellectual Property Court. The Court may order, as provisional measures in an action for infringement of ID – an injunction against the infringer, order that damages and costs be paid by the infringer to the right holder.
When rendering a final decision on infringement, the Court may order the destruction of infringing goods and the prevention of such goods from entering channels of commerce and may order the prevention of materials or implements used in creating the infringing goods from entering into channels of commerce to minimize the risk of further infringement.
The implementation of the Copyright Law also heralds a new era for the protection of intellectual property rights in Myanmar. Although copyright vests in works upon their creation, the availability of voluntary recordal of copyright is a boon for right owners as they can demonstrate evidence of ownership in the event there is a dispute over a copyrighted work.
Another notable feature of the Copyright Law is the protection accorded to foreign works in Myanmar, where such protection was markedly absent in the repealed Copyright Act of 1914. This means that works created by non-Myanmar nationals are protected if they are first published in Myanmar or published in Myanmar within 30 days after their publication abroad.
Should you have any query, or require assistance on trademark matters in Myanmar, please contact us at email@example.com.