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Myanmar patent law comes into effect

20 June 2024

Myanmar patent law comes into effect

The Myanmar Patent Law retrospectively took effect on May 31, 2024, pursuant to the State Administration Council’s Notification No. 106/2024, dated June 1, 2024. Subsequently, the Ministry of Commerce issued the Patent Rules under Notification No. 43/2024, dated June 4, 2024, establishing the procedures for patent-related matters. Under the newly enacted Patent Law, inventions and utility models will become eligible for registration with the Intellectual Property Department (IPD) to obtain statutory protection only after the official forms, fees and the commencement date for application submissions are announced.

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

An invention is eligible for registration under the Patent Law if it meets the following criteria: it must be new, meaning it has not been disclosed to the public anywhere by any means before the filing date or priority date if priority is claimed; it must involve an inventive step; and must be capable of being used within an industry.

“With the enactment of separate intellectual property laws in Myanmar, rights holders can now secure protection for their brands and patents under the appropriate legislation,” said Khin Myo Myo Aye, a senior associate at Tilleke & Gibbins Myanmar Limited in Yangon. “Brand owners can register their trademarks under the Trademark Law of 2019, while inventors can safeguard their patents through the Patent Law of 2019. The implementation of the Patent Law in Myanmar has significant impacts on rights holders seeking statutory protection, including reservation of rights for their inventions within the country. Upon successful registration of patents under the Patent Law, rights holders are granted exclusive rights that encompass: preventing unauthorized third parties from manufacturing, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the patented products into the country; preventing unauthorized third parties from using the patented process or performing activities related to a product created using the patented process; and initiating legal proceedings against infringers through civil action. Moreover, rights holders have the option to assign or license their registered patents to other individuals or legal entities. Accordingly, patent registration confers significant commercial benefits and potential profits to the rights holder.” 

She added that the new Patent Law in Myanmar will become fully operational once the authorities announce the official forms, fees and the commencement date for submissions. “At that time, individuals and legal entities will be able to apply for registration of their patents under the Patent Law in Myanmar. Following completion of their first examination, the IPD will then proceed to publish the applied for inventions. If there are no objections within 90 days from the date of publication by the IPD, the inventions will be eligible for registration and granted protection under the Patent Law,” she said.

She added: “Additionally, the Patent Law recognizes the right to claim priority within one year from the application filing date in any member country of the World Trade Organization (WTO) or the Paris Convention. The law also allows simultaneous filing of international patent applications in Myanmar, enabling inventors to seek protection for their inventions in multiple jurisdictions at the same time through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). However, these provisions will only come into effect after Myanmar ratifies the Paris Convention and PCT through future announcements. Since Myanmar has been a WTO member since 1995, rights holders can claim priority based on applications filed in any WTO member country once the IPD begins to accept such applications, subject to the specified announcements. This framework affords rights holders the opportunity to assert their rights and priorities at an earlier date than the actual filing date in Myanmar.”

- Excel V. Dyquiangco

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