Myanmar’s first formal trademark law is expected to take effect in late 2017 or early 2018, and the Myanmar Intellectual Property Office will be established under the Ministry of Education. The new law will modernize Myanmar’s trademark system and align it with international standards. Notably, marks that are recorded under the current system will not be automatically re-registered, and no procedures will be available to address any conflicts between marks currently recorded and/or used in Myanmar, and those that will be registered under the new law. In order for their marks to be protected, therefore, trademark owners must re-file, and all marks will be examined under the new law.
The draft law, currently under review by the Draft Law Committee of the Myanmar Parliament, includes the following salient features:
- A first-to-file system will replace the current first-to-use system.
- Trademarks, service marks, collective, and certification marks will be registrable.
- Well-known marks will be recognized.
- Geographical indications will be protected.
- Opposition and cancellation actions will be available.
- Specialized intellectual property courts will be established.
- Administrative (customs), civil, and criminal remedies will be available for trademark infringement.