• Chetan Chadha

Myanmar: Save the date for soft opening of new trademark filing system- December 20, 2019


A new Trademark Law was enacted by the Myanmar Government in January, 2019, aligning the new set of rules, regulations, and procedures with the international standards, including formality examination, publication, substantive examination, registration or rejection, etc.

The Myanmar Trademark Law, 2019 (the new law) will be implemented in two phases i.e. the Soft Opening and the Grand Opening.

SOFT OPENING

The “Soft-opening” period shall be the period between December 20, 2019 and May 19, 2020, exclusively for the existing right holders under Myanmar’s old system. The trademark rights under the new law will be granted on a first to file basis.

In accordance with the Myanmar Trademark Law, 2019, trademark owners who have previously recorded their trademarks with the Office of Registration of Deeds (ORD) are required to re-apply for registration under the new law in order to continue enjoying statutory trademark rights. In other words, upon the entry into force of the new law, existing trademark declarations and trademark notices will no longer be sufficient to demonstrate ownership of trademarks in Myanmar.

Therefore, in order to maintain trademark rights in Myanmar, it is advisable to re-apply for registration as soon as possible. Proof of registrations and/or renewals under the old framework along with a legalized Power of Attorney shall be submitted at the time of making the application. It is advisable that all evidence of existing use of the trademark, including past trademark cautionary notices (if published), advertisements, invoices, catalogues etc., and other clear evidence of use of the trademark in Myanmar be collated before the soft opening in order to ensure smooth re-registration of the trademarks.

It is also strongly recommended that any trademark assignments or changes to the owner’s name and address be updated at the ORD under the current practice. If the information in the previous recordation and the details of the application that is filed under the new Trademark Law are different, that trademark cannot be registered until after the grand opening.

GRAND OPENING

Upon completion of the soft opening period, all interested right holders may file new trademark applications after 19th May 2020.

Under the new law, the marks shall be formally examined at the IPO, published in the Journal and be open for opposition by third-parties (the opposition period has not been defined yet). The opposition hearings will take place in an IP Court. Once granted registration, the marks shall be registered for a period of 10 years from the date of application and a renewal request can be filed six (06) months before expiration.


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