By Sahil Yadav
Myanmar’s new trademark law is now ripe for implementation. The Myanmar Department of Intellectual Property (MDIP)’s new electronic filing system is expected to see a “soft” launch on December 20, 2019 (although this date may be delayed) during which only trademark owners holding declarations of ownership for trademarks under the old law may apply to register these trademarks under the new law. The registrations under the new law will supersede declarations of ownership under the old law.
At the end of this soft launch (which is expected to last for 3-6 months), the MDIP will begin accepting applications for trademarks not previously recorded under the old law. This welcome development follows the passage of Myanmar’s long-awaited Trademark Law, which was signed into law on January 30, 2019 – a significant step on which we previously reported here and here.
To prepare for the soft launch, trademark owners should begin collating the following documents and information for registration of their previously-recorded trademarks:
- Declaration of Ownership registered with the Office of Registration of Deeds;
- Date of first use and evidence of use of their marks in Myanmar;
- Name, address and incorporation information of the owner;
- Specimen of the mark in digital format; and
- A description of goods and services.
While it was not clear before whether trademark owners holding declarations of ownership under the old law would be offered any kind of priority when the new law is implemented, the soft launch is an innovative and much needed solution to enable existing trademark owners to preserve their rights acquired under the old law. We recommend that clients take steps now to arrange for continued protection.