The Republic of the Union of Myanmar State Administration Council issued its Notification No. 82/2023 on 10 March 2023, announcing that the Trademark Law enacted on 20 January 2019 will enter into force on 1 April 2023. The notification was issued after the Myanmar Intellectual Property Department (IPD) briefed Myanmar’s certified trademark representatives on the enforcement of the new law during a special session organized on 9 March 2023.
The IPD confirmed that the entry into force of the Trademark Law 2019 on 1 April 2023 does not mark its grand-opening date, and that its ongoing soft-opening period, which began on 1 October 2020, will enter its second phase tentatively on 3 April 2023. Therefore, the IPD will continue to accept applications for trademarks registered using Declarations of Ownership at the Office of Registration of Deeds (ORD) and/or trademarks that have been used in Myanmar until further notice. To enjoy statutory protection under the Trademark Law 2019, all trademarks registered at the ORD previously must be refiled and reregistered under the new system. These applications can be made in person by the mark owner or through a certified trademark representative via the IPD’s online system.
The IPD also informed certified trademark representatives that trademark applications can now be submitted together with the notarized appointment of representative form issued by the Ministry of Commerce for appointing a representative for trademark matters. All other requests, such as those for amendment of an application, assignment of an application, or change of representative, cannot be filed until further notice.
During the second phase of the IPD’s soft-opening period, applicants who have filed their trademarks will be able to pay the official fees for the applications submitted. Detailed rules and regulations for the implementation of the Trademark Law 2019, including rules relating to the payment of official fees, are expected to be published in March 2023.
The second phase of the IPD’s soft-opening period is anticipated to continue until an official announcement on the start of the grand opening of the IPD is made. All trademark applications filed during the IPD’s soft-opening period, whether during the first phase or the second phase, will be assigned the same official application date—expected to be the first day of the grand opening of the IPD. To file a trademark during the ongoing soft-opening period, the following information and documents must be submitted:
- Applicant’s name, address, and company incorporation number;
- Clear specimen of the trademark, including the English/Myanmar translation of any components in other languages as may be applicable;
- Classes and list of goods and/or services;
- Claim of colors of the trademark, where applicable; and
- Scanned copy of the Declaration of Ownership registered at the ORD and/or evidence of use of the trademark in Myanmar.
The IPD expects to continue accepting trademark applications for old trademarks, namely trademarks registered at the ORD using Declarations of Ownership and trademarks already in use in Myanmar, for a fixed time period after commencement of the grand opening. After the cut-off date (to be announced later), the IPD will only accept applications for new trademarks under the Trademark Law 2019.
The entry into force of the Trademark Law 2019 on 1 April 2023 will mark the commencement of the first of the four pieces of IP legislation enacted in 2019. The State Administration Council and the IPD are expected to make further announcements regarding the entry into force of the Industrial Design Law, Patent Law, and Copyright Law at a later stage.