On January 30, 2019, Myanmar's Parliament, known as the Assembly of the Union, passed the long-anticipated Myanmar Industrial Design Law (“IDL”). The rules governing its implementation were made public on September 29, 2023, and they are set to take effect on October 31, 2023. From October 31, 2023, it will be possible to seek protection for industrial designs in Myanmar.
Key features of the IDL are summarized below:
International Novelty: To be eligible for registration under this law, any industrial design must be novel, having never been disclosed or made public, within Myanmar or abroad, through means such as written description, use, publication, display, or any other method, prior to the application.
Novelty Criteria: An industrial design loses its novelty if it closely resembles an existing design or if it combines elements from known designs. Industrial designs previously recorded as Declarations of Ownership of Design (“DOO”) at the Registry of Deeds and Assurances cannot be re-registered under the IDL due to their lack of novelty.
Multiple Designs: It’s possible to submit multiple designs in a single application, provided they belong to same class of the Locarno classification.
Non-Registrable Designs: Industrial designs that incorporate technical or functional inventions will not be granted protection, as only outward features are considered eligible for design protection.
Examination: The registration process involves a formality examination based on absolute grounds. If there is an opposition, the examination will be conducted based on relative grounds.
Priority Rights: Applicants can claim priority if they file their applications within six months of filing in a member country of the Paris Convention or another member state of the World Trade Organization. Additionally, designs showcased at international trade shows endorsed or recognized by the government of any Paris Convention Country or World Trade Organization Contracting Country can claim priority rights related to the Trade Fair if registered within six months of the display date.
Period of Protection: According to the IDL, an industrial design can enjoy protection for five years from the filing date and can be renewed twice, each time for an additional five-year period. This results in a total protection period of 15 years.
Renewal: There is a grace period of six months before the registration's expiry date for applying for renewal.
Other IP laws, including Copyright, are expected to be enacted soon. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Thet Htar Aung, Patent Specialist, Patent & Design Group, Rouse Myanmar