Myanmar’s Patent Law Comes into Effect

The Myanmar Patent Law, enacted on March 11, 2019, came into effect on May 31, 2024, with notification 106/2024 issued by the Ministry of Commerce. On June 4, 2024, the patent law was published under notification 43/2024 by the Ministry. Now that the law has come into effect, owners of inventions can soon file applications for patents at the Ministry’s Intellectual Property Department (IPD) instead of relying on newspaper publications to assert the rights to their invention.

Under the newly enacted Patent Law, an invention must have novelty, involve an inventive step, and be industrially applicable in order for that invention to be patented. For utility model protection, the invention need only be be novel and usable in industrial enterprises. Additionally, the law prevents the simultaneous or consecutive submission of a utility model and a patent application for the same invention.

Patents enjoy a registration period of 20 years from the filing date, while utility models are protected for 10 years. Applicants can claim priority of an earlier application filed in any country which is part of the Paris Convention or World Trade Organization (WTO) within 12 months of the date that application. The Ministry will also adopt the International Patent Classification (IPC) for classifying patent and utility model applications.

Once a patent application has been submitted, it undergoes a formality examination after 18 months. Applicants must request substantive examination within 36 months from the filing date in order for the application to be examined substantively and not deemed to be withdrawn by the applicant. Utility model applications are not examined substantively and only require a formality examination. Applications for patents and utility models can be submitted in either Burmese or English.

After the patent has been granted, patent holders can seek civil remedies for infringements and request temporary injunctions from the court.

Inventors have the right to apply for and be named in a patent. In lieu of the inventor, licensees and assignees who have received the rights from the inventor may apply for the patent instead. For inventions where there are multiple inventors, all inventors are eligible to jointly apply for the patent.

Applications from non-residents or businesses outside the Union must be filed through a certified Patent Attorney, ensuring compliance with all legal requirements. The IPD plans to offer training for patent attorneys soon.

These positive changes are expected to attract international businesses to invest and do business in the Union. At KASS, we are committed to keeping you informed on the latest developments in patent as well as other IP matters in Myanmar. For more detailed information, please email us at kass@kass.asia.

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