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Myanmar’s IP Experts 2023

30 November 2023

Myanmar’s IP Experts 2023

Eight years ago, in 2015, Asia IP visited Yangon, the commercial centre of Myanmar, for the first time, in search of Myanmar’s long-promised (and longer-awaited) suite of intellectual property laws.

The excitement on the ground at the time was palpable: the country once known as Burma was finally free of global sanctions and was responding by loosening restrictions, reforming its currency and updating its foreign investment laws as quickly as it could, hurtling towards the 21st century at breakneck speed.

Things were slow to develop, for sure, but Myanmar was gradually moving forward with a slate of modern intellectual property laws. Since the military coup in February 2021 led to an ongoing civil war, IP has understandably taken a back seat, and while there is still the occasional announcement about something new in that realm, intellectual property protection is mostly a remote thought these days.

Andy Leck, who heads Baker McKenzie’s IP and technology practice in Singapore, writing on the firm’s blog in August 2023 about the issuance of customs rules relating to the country’s 2019 trademark law, noted that “all trademark applications with the [Myanmar Intellectual Property Department] have not yet been registered, and it is likely that the earliest registration of a trademark would only take place in a year’s time.”

Further, it is unclear how many lawyers, particularly foreign lawyers, are active in Yangon these days. Many have understandably taken a lower profile after the death of Min Tayza Nyunt Tin in March 2023, who was shot by self-proclaimed urban guerrillas, the Associated Press reported.

(It should be noted that Min Tayza was killed not for his work in intellectual property. The AP reported: “The group, calling itself Urban Owls, accused him of being a business associate of the country’s military leaders who seized power two years ago, and claimed he helped them launder money in order to buy real estate and business assets abroad in deals totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.”)

The AP could not independently confirm the group’s claim, and a colleague of Min Tayza denied the guerrillas’ allegations. Min Tayza was the founder and CEO of BIZ Law Consult Myanmar, a law firm specializing in intellectual property and trademark law, and appeared on our list of IP Experts for Myanmar in 2022.

With the current circumstances in Myanmar, any parties interested in IP protection in Myanmar will likely find that to be a tall order. That said, there is a growing handful of lawyers with experience in Yangon who do top-level, international-quality work, whom Asia IP is pleased to name to our list of Myanmar’s IP Experts.

Most of the lawyers named to our list have multiple practice specialties. Many of them are litigators, while others concentrate on prosecution work or provide strategic advice.

All of them have something in common: they are experts in their fields and, in one way or another, they provide extra value for their clients. They are Asia IP’s Myanmar’s IP Experts. – GREGORY GLASS

Myanmar’s IP Experts is based solely on independent editorial research conducted by Asia IP. As part of this project, we turned to in-house counsel in Myanmar, Southeast Asia and elsewhere around the world, as well as Myanmar-focused partners at international law firms, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers including foreign legal consultants, advisers and counsel.

The final list reflects the nominations received combined with the input of the editorial team at Asia IP, which has more than 45 years of collective experience in researching and understanding Myanmar’s legal market.

All private-practice intellectual property lawyers in Myanmar were eligible for inclusion in the nomination process; there were no fees or any other requirements for inclusion in the process.

The names of our 20 IP Experts are published here. Each IP Expert was given the opportunity to include their biography and contact details in print and on our website, for which a fee was charged.

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