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Myanmar now accepts industrial designs registrations

09 February 2024

Myanmar now accepts industrial designs registrations

Khin Myo Myo Aye, Senior Associate, Tilleke & Gibbins, Yangon

On February 1, 2024, Myanmar’s Intellectual Property Department (IPD) officially started accepting applications for industrial designs under the Industrial Design Law enforced on October 31, 2023. Alongside this law, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) also introduced the Industrial Design Rules on September 29, 2023, another significant document governing industrial design registration in Myanmar.

According to Khin Myo Myo Aye, a senior associate at Tilleke & Gibbins in Yangon, the implementation of industrial design registration in Myanmar enables rights holders to benefit from exclusive rights granted under the Industrial Design Law. These rights allow rights holders to prevent unauthorized reproduction, selling or importation of products bearing the registered design. Moreover, registration offers opportunities for generating additional benefits or profits through the assignment and/or licensing of the registered industrial design.

“Given these advantages, it has become imperative for individuals and legal entities to pursue registration of their industrial designs under the Industrial Design Law. Doing so not only ensures statutory protection but also grants essential rights, providing a comprehensive framework for safeguarding intellectual property in Myanmar,” said Aye.

Previously, industrial design registrations in Myanmar were suspended due to the outdated practice of the Office of the Registration of Deeds (ORD) recording Declarations of Ownership about industrial designs. Renewals, although not mandated by law, were allowed every three years and were customary nationwide. Enforcement proceedings could be initiated under the previous system using the nation’s common law procedures due to the lack of meaningful statutes. However, with the release of the Industrial Design Bill in July 2017, this practice was put on hold.

Now, individuals and legal entities are eligible to apply for the registration of industrial designs in Myanmar. Aye explained the IPD will conduct an initial examination upon submission. If the requirements are met, the design will be published, opening a 60-day window for interested third parties to contest registration by providing valid grounds. If unopposed, the design will be officially registered.

“At this stage, the duration of initial examinations is uncertain, making it challenging to estimate the timeframe for the completion of registrations,” said Aye. Meanwhile, successful registration grants exclusive rights to the rights holder, along with the ability to oppose subsequent industrial design applications by presenting appropriate grounds for opposition.

- Excel V. Dyquiangco

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