From 1922-1927, George Orwell was a police officer in the Indian Imperial Police based in Burma. At that time, Burma was a part of the British Empire. Orwell’s experience in Burma led him to write his first novel “Burmese Days”. Of course, Orwell later found fame with his novels “Nineteen Eighty Four” and “Animal Farm”.

Burma went on to become independent of the British Empire after World War II to become the nation of Myanmar.

For many years it was only possible to record trade mark ownership by filing a declaration with the Deeds and Documents Registration Office. On 28 August 2020, the Ministry of Commerce announced that the Office of Intellectual Property (OIP) will commence operations on 1 October 2020. Initially, the OIP will be responsible for the administration of the new Trade Mark Law which came into force in January 2019. This law provides for formality and substantive examination, publication, opposition, registration and other procedures associated with international trade mark legislation.

From 1 October 2020 for a period of at least six months, “the soft launch period”, it will be possible to re-register existing trade mark recordals or register trade marks already in use in Myanmar. After the soft launch period, regular filing will become available.

Here is what you need to know to take advantage of the soft launch and register your trade mark:

Prior recorded trade marks

  • Trade mark specimen.
  • Recorded Declaration of Ownership.
  • Published Cautionary Notice.
  • Class and list of goods and/or services (cannot be extended beyond the existing recordal).
  • If ownership of the trade mark is different: evidence of change of name or assignment.
  • Optionally if the trade mark has been used: evidence of use, promotional activities featuring the trade mark in Myanmar, date of first use, and tax receipt showing use.

Trade marks in use in Myanmar but not prior recorded

  • Class and list of goods and/or services (based on the Nice Classification).
  • Evidence of use, promotional activities featuring the trade mark in Myanmar.
  • Tax receipt showing use of the trade mark in Myanmar.

The implementation of the Trade Mark Law is an important development for Myanmar as it opens up and modernises its economy. It is to be expected that the implementation of the patents law will follow in due course thus aligning Myanmar with the economies of South East Asia.