Myanmar’s New Trademark Law: What Brand Owners Need to Know

We are pleased to inform you that, after the enactment of Myanmar’s New Trademark Law on 30th January 2019, the Myanmar Government has recently set the date of soft opening starting from 1st October 2020. The trademark registration system under the new trademark law has provisions for examinations and will be operating based on a first-to-file basis: the applications must be filed according to NICE Classification which is equivalent to the international trademark system. This will result in the revocation of all the registrations that have been registered under the old system through filing the Declaration of Ownership of Trademark (“DOT”). Therefore, trademark owners who wish to maintain trademark protection in Myanmar must re-file their trademark applications to the Myanmar Department of Intellectual Property (“MDIP”). To properly regulate the new trademark system, implementation has been issued in two phases.

(1). Soft Opening Period

The owners of existing trademarks that have been registered under the old system by filing the DOT, and the owners of unregistered trademarks that have been used in Myanmar with appropriate evidence of use, are allowed to re-file/file trademark applications through the new e-filing system during the soft opening period which will commence from 1st October 2020 until 31st March 2021. According to the announcement, the first date of the grand opening will be considered as the official filing date of trademarks filed during soft opening period.

The required documents and information

  1. Clear specimen of the trademark
  2. Current name and address of trademarks’ owner
  3. Lists of goods/services which are the same as registered under the old system or actually used in Myanmar and they must be classified in accordance to the Nice Classification
  4. Copy of Declaration of Ownership of Trademark (“DOT”)
  5. Copy of Cautionary Notice previously published or evidence of extensive use in Myanmar (if any)
  6. Evidence of actual use in Myanmar indicating the first date of use in Myanmar, evidence of advertising and promotion, evidence of sales e.g., invoices, payment receipts, tax receipts, etc.
  7. Power of Attorney (shall be prescribed by MDIP soon)

Kindly note that new trademark filings will not be available during the soft opening period. The trademark owners should file new trademark applications under the old system before 1st October 2020 and then re-file them during the soft opening period as stated above.

(2). Grand Opening

After the end of the soft opening period, the MDIP will announce the date of grand opening. This will allow any new filings be filed under the new system. Please note that the MDIP has yet to announce the official fees for re-filing or applying for trademark registrations. It is expected that the official fees will be announced before the grand opening. We will update you appropriately in accordance to the release of further details.

For any inquiries regarding Myanmar’s New Trademark Law, please contact us at ipgroup@ilct.co.th.