Myanmar: Myanmar introduces new patent law
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Myanmar: Myanmar introduces new patent law


On March 11 2019, the Myanmar parliament enacted the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law No. 7/2019 (Patent Law) heralding the dawn of a new era in patent registration in Myanmar. While the new Trade Mark Law passed on January 30 2019 is expected to come into force this year, the new Patent Law is pending and will come into operation only upon notification from the president of Myanmar.

The new patent regime is welcome news for both corporations and aspiring inventors. Traditionally, businesses in Myanmar have relied on colonial-era laws to protect their intellectual property. Patent rights were recognised by the Myanmar Registration Office upon receipt of a Declaration of Ownership of Patent based on a granted corresponding patent. It is also incumbent on the patent proprietor to publish a notice in a local newspaper every three years to assert ownership of their patent. The absence of an official framework for patent registration has imposed difficulties for patent owners when it comes to protecting their inventions and enforcing their rights against infringers in Myanmar.

Under the new Patent Law, a Myanmar Intellectual Property Office comprising a registrar, a department and examiners will be established under the Ministry of Commerce to administer patent registrations under a first-to-file system. The Patent Law provides protection for both patents with a protection term of 20 years and utility models (petty patents) with a term of 10 years. The recognised requirements for patentability of an invention apply – novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability, although petty patents do not have to fulfil the requirements for inventive step. Like other jurisdictions, discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, systems and rules of doing business, performance of mental acts and playing games, and computer programs will not be patentable in Myanmar. Also excluded from patentability are methods for treatment of the human and animal body and inventions related to naturally occurring substances and their new uses.

Importantly, pharmaceutical products are exempt from protection until January 1 2033 whereas chemical products for agricultural uses, food products and microbiological products are exempt from protection until July 1 2021. These exceptions are made in accordance with the transitional extended period to exempt certain inventions under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement) for least-developed country members.

Patent applications can be filed in English or Burmese, with submission of a certified translation as directed by the registrar. Priority may be claimed under the Paris Convention, and applicants have up to 36 months from filing to request substantive examination. A compulsory licence can also be requested for a Myanmar patent.

Once implemented, the suite of patent laws will pave the way for the creation of a structured and comprehensive patent regime, bringing Myanmar into greater alignment with international standards and legal frameworks.


Daniel Collopy

Yeo Moon Teng

Spruson & Ferguson (Asia) Pte Ltd

152 Beach Road

#37-05/06 Gateway East

Singapore 189721

Tel: +65 6333 7200

Fax: +65 6333 7222

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP practitioner about their life and career
Mathys & Squire has filed a test case that the firm hopes will make UPC pleadings available by default
Multiple representatives and their teams can now work on cases using the online CMS, but not everyone can submit documents
James Lawrence, partner at Addisons, explains how he convinced the full Federal Court of Australia to back his client in a patent dispute concerning mining safety equipment
The deal will allow the companies to use each other’s patents covering 4G and 5G technologies, and other cellular SEPs
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Three lead IP counsel in the US, the UK and China share how they walk the fine line between building in-house competence and splurging on external lawyers
Mike Renaud, head of the IP division at Mintz, explains his business strategy and how the firm justifies charging higher rates
Sources say firms must build relationships with clients that transcend their connections to individual partners
INTA’s resolution on online marketplaces and appointment of Amazon’s general counsel follow calls for the association to take a direct position on internet fakes