28 March 2018
The Upper House of Myanmar’s Parliament, the Amyotha Hluttaw, passed four intellectual property (“IP”) Bills on 15 February 2018, paving the way for the creation of a new IP regime in Myanmar. The four Bills relate to copyright, trademarks, industrial designs and patents (“Bills”) and will now be considered by the Lower House of Myanmar’s Parliament, the Pyithu Hluttaw, where final revisions may still be made.
The long-awaited Bills were first introduced in Parliament in January 2018.
Myanmar currently does not have an IP regime other than the outdated Burma Copyright Act 1914 and a definition of “trademark” in the Penal Code 1861. The Bills are expected to bring Myanmar in line with the Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS).
The impact of the Bills, once passed, is expected to be significant for businesses, with the creation of a structured IP regime bringing much needed clarity to the area.
Once the Bills are passed by the Lower House, they will be sent to the President to be signed into law.