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While a date has not yet been determined, Myanmar will soon be implementing a new trade mark system, most likely sometime within the next six months, changing from a first-to-use system to a first-to-file.

what are the changes?

The change will be implemented in a two-part process:

  1. The “first-to-file” system will mean that the first entity to file (and successfully register) their trade mark, will own the trade mark in Myanmar, even if you’ve already been using it there.
  2. The old trade mark register is being decommissioned and a new trade mark register will be implemented to replace it. The introduction of the new register will mean that all existing trade mark registrations will be cancelled on the date of decommission.

However, business owners need not despair. There is a priority period, which has yet to open, during which you will be able to file a new trade mark application to secure the earliest possible priority date. This priority period will be available to those businesses that currently have a trade mark on the current (and soon to be decommissioned) register.

what do i need to do to make a priority claim?

Unfortunately, the Myanmar government hasn’t yet released the official fees for making the trade mark applications in the new system, nor has it stated when the priority period will be opened or how long that period will be. However, we are aware that there are many administrative requirements that must be complied with, including the filing of a power of attorney, to ensure the trade mark application is processed.

Accordingly, we recommended any businesses with existing trade mark protection in Myanmar (that it wants to maintain) take steps now to ensure the new application is filed within the priority period (when opened) to maintain a monopoly.

what if i don’t make a priority claim?

If you don’t make a priority claim, you will lose your current trade mark rights in Myanmar and may risk someone else filing for your trade mark as soon as it becomes publicly available.

Businesses with existing rights in Myanmar should act now to ensure they secure their trade mark rights under the new trade mark system. If you’d like assistance with this, please contact our trade mark experts who will be able to take the hassle out of re-registration for you.

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myanmar changing to “first-to-file” for trade marks

11 May 2022
colin hanns mark metzeling

While a date has not yet been determined, Myanmar will soon be implementing a new trade mark system, most likely sometime within the next six months, changing from a first-to-use system to a first-to-file.

what are the changes?

The change will be implemented in a two-part process:

  1. The “first-to-file” system will mean that the first entity to file (and successfully register) their trade mark, will own the trade mark in Myanmar, even if you’ve already been using it there.
  2. The old trade mark register is being decommissioned and a new trade mark register will be implemented to replace it. The introduction of the new register will mean that all existing trade mark registrations will be cancelled on the date of decommission.

However, business owners need not despair. There is a priority period, which has yet to open, during which you will be able to file a new trade mark application to secure the earliest possible priority date. This priority period will be available to those businesses that currently have a trade mark on the current (and soon to be decommissioned) register.

what do i need to do to make a priority claim?

Unfortunately, the Myanmar government hasn’t yet released the official fees for making the trade mark applications in the new system, nor has it stated when the priority period will be opened or how long that period will be. However, we are aware that there are many administrative requirements that must be complied with, including the filing of a power of attorney, to ensure the trade mark application is processed.

Accordingly, we recommended any businesses with existing trade mark protection in Myanmar (that it wants to maintain) take steps now to ensure the new application is filed within the priority period (when opened) to maintain a monopoly.

what if i don’t make a priority claim?

If you don’t make a priority claim, you will lose your current trade mark rights in Myanmar and may risk someone else filing for your trade mark as soon as it becomes publicly available.

Businesses with existing rights in Myanmar should act now to ensure they secure their trade mark rights under the new trade mark system. If you’d like assistance with this, please contact our trade mark experts who will be able to take the hassle out of re-registration for you.