Effectiveness of the Industrial Design Law and the Copyright Law of Myanmar

Effectiveness of the Industrial Design Law and the Copyright Law of Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar – The State Administration Council (SAC) of Myanmar has issued Notification No. 217/2023 in order to set 31 October 2023 as the effective date of the Industrial Design Law of Myanmar.

Under the Industrial Design Law of Myanmar, applications for registration of industrial designs can be filed to the Intellectual Property Department of Myanmar. However, the Department has not issued any guidance on the starting date, official application forms and official fees for filing design applications in Myanmar.

By way of Notification No. 67/2023 dated 29 September 2023, Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce has issued the Industrial Design Rules, which set up detailed procedures and guidelines for the registration of industrial designs under the Industrial Design Law, such as the rules for description of industrial design, filing, examination, amendment and withdrawal of applications, opposition, registration, recordal of assignment, recordal of license, invalidation and cancellation, and appointment of a representative for filing design applications.

The Industrial Design Law of Myanmar was passed by Myanmar’s Parliament on 30 January 2019. Under the Law, to be registrable, an industrial design must be new and original. One application can cover several industrial designs of products in the same Locarno classification number.

At present, Myanmar has not been a member of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. Therefore, the applicant cannot file an international application for registration of their design under the Hague System.

In the meantime, on 18 October 2023, SAC also issued Notification No. 218/2023 to set 31 October 2023 as the effective date of the Copyright Law of Myanmar.

The Copyright Law of Myanmar was passed on 14 May 2019 and finally enacted into law on 24 May 2019. It has repealed the Copyright Act 1914 and established a new copyright protection system in Myanmar. The Copyright Law protects the literary and artistic works of Myanmar citizens as copyright works. It also protects works of foreigners who reside in Myanmar and first publish their works in Myanmar or first publish their works outside Myanmar but re-publish them in Myanmar within 30 days of the first publication date.

Under the Copyright Law, it is an offence to reproduce, communicate or distribute to the public a copyrighted work, and possess and/or import infringing goods for a commercial purpose without the consent of the right holder. The Law also provides for a voluntary system of registration of copyright as well as various defences to copyright infringement.

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