New Trade Mark Registration System in Myanmar from 1 October 2020

This article is produced by CMS Holborn Asia, a Formal Law Alliance between CMS Singapore and Holborn Law LLC.

The Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar has announced that the soft opening period for re-filing trade marks under the new trade mark law in Myanmar will start from 1 October 2020.

The new trade mark system in Myanmar will operate in two stages:

  1. Soft opening period (from 1 October 2020 to 31 March 2021)
  2. Grand opening (from 1 April 2021)

During the soft opening period, only applications for the following trade marks may be filed:

  1. Trade marks recorded with the Registry of Deeds under the current system; and
  2. Trade marks which are not recorded with the Registry of Deeds but have been used in Myanmar.

It is essential for existing registrants to re-file their trade mark applications during the soft opening period in order to maintain the protection of their trade marks under the new law. If a registrant fails to re-file the application for existing rights during the soft opening period, the relevant trade marks will be available for registration by third parties from 1 April 2021. In addition, any existing rights obtained through the recordation of declarations of ownership with the Registry of Deeds will unlikely be sufficient for establishing ownership of a trade mark after the grand opening. All trade mark applications accepted during the soft opening period will be accorded the same filing date, which will be the date of the grand opening.

The main requirements for re-filing or filing a trade mark application during the soft opening period are:

  1. A scanned copy of the recordation of the declaration of ownership or renewal with the Registry of Deeds;
  2. A scanned copy of the last published cautionary notice;
  3. Evidence of use of the trade mark in Myanmar and the first date of use; and
  4. A power of attorney duly legalised by the Consulate of Myanmar.

The Ministry of Commerce may announce additional requirements as the soft opening period progresses. Further, the official fees under the new law, including trade mark application filing fees, will be announced in a separate notification from the Ministry of Commerce.

Applications for new trade marks will not be accepted during the soft opening period and may only be filed from the grand opening on 1 April 2021. Opposition proceedings may also be initiated against newly filed trade marks from 1 April 2021.

Other key features of the new trade mark system in Myanmar will include:

  1. The availability of public search;
  2. Registration term of ten years;
  3. Renewal term of ten years; and
  4. Procedure for filing recordal of changes.

If you would like to be kept updated on or have any queries in relation to trade mark registration in Myanmar, please do not hesitate to approach the key contacts listed below