The 4 IP laws for Myanmar all passed in early 2019. However they are still not yet in effect. They all require an implementation date. This however depends on many other factors, which the Myanmar government is working on. These include:
- 4 sets of Implementing regulations. WIPO is helping to draft these.
- The structure of the IP Office: comprising the IP Central Committee (Policy), the IP Agency (Implementation) and the IP Department (Registration and Administration), with all its divisions: Trademark, Design, Copyright, Patent and Legal, Training, IT and other divisions. This structure is now in place.
- Developing the IP Office’s strategic plan and roadmap.
- Finalizing the move from the Ministry of Education into the Ministry of Commerce – with 2 offices in Naypyidaw and Yangon, as well as space, furniture and fittings.
- IT infrastructure; WIPO’s IPAS software is to be used, the website is being developed now, data management systems, internal IT systems/office automation need to be set up and all the hardware and software purchases made.
- Detailed workplans for a myriad of areas, from IP forms to training to treaty accession, to fee collection, appeal systems and so on.
- Recruitment of several hundred staff for the IP department.
- A transitional system for re-registration of all the pre-existing trademark registrations (nearly 200,000 of them!) The plan is a soft launch of the trademark division to do this in early 2020.
- Training programs for IP users, universities. public, SMEs, IPO staff and IP Practitioners training plus setting up CMOs and IP libraries
At this stage copyright and trademark owners will likely be the first ones able to start using the systems, probably in early 2020, followed by Designs, GIs and Patents in roughly that order. Building an IP system from scratch is a big job. Full implementation will take about a year more.