Patent Law in Myanmar

Old Legal Framework: Previously, protection of intellectual property (IP) in Myanmar primarily relied on the Registration Act of 1908 and the Specific Relief Act of 1877. These legislations provided limited protection through a system of declarations, where IP owners could register their inventions, designs, or trademarks with the Office of the Registration of Deeds.

Lack of Formal Patent System: Under the old system, there was no formal patent office or procedures for examining patent applications. Protection was somewhat informal and largely relied on the civil courts for enforcement.

Recent Developments

The Myanmar Patent Law (2019): To modernize its IP regime and comply with international standards, Myanmar enacted a new patent law in 2019. This law is part of a broader IP reform that includes the Trade Mark Law, Industrial Design Law, and Copyright Law.

Key Provisions of the 2019 Patent Law:

  • Patent Office: Establishes a formal Patent Office under the Ministry of Commerce to handle patent applications and grants.
  • Patentable Subject Matter: Defines what can be patented, including new inventions involving inventive steps and capable of industrial application.
  • Exclusions: Certain types of inventions, such as scientific theories, mathematical methods, and purely aesthetic creations, are not patentable.
  • Application Process: Outlines the procedures for filing, examining, and granting patents, including substantive examination and opposition procedures.
  • Term of Protection: Patents are granted for a period of 20 years from the filing date.
  • Compulsory Licensing: Provides conditions under which compulsory licenses may be issued, such as for public interest or in cases of anti-competitive practices.
  • Enforcement: Includes provisions for the enforcement of patent rights, including civil and criminal penalties for infringement.

Recent Update: The State Administration Council released Notification 106/2024 on June 1, 2024, stating that the Patent Law has come into force on May 31, 2024.

Practical Implications

Transition Period: During the transition to the new system, businesses and inventors need to be aware of both the old and new legal frameworks.

Legal Advice: Consulting with local legal experts specializing in IP law is crucial for navigating the evolving landscape and ensuring proper protection of inventions. We at South Asia Consulting Limited are here to help. Please contact us at for further assistance.

International Filings: Myanmar's membership in international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), influences the intellectual property (IP) strategies of businesses operating internationally. This membership ensures that Myanmar adheres to international standards and agreements, such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). As a result, businesses can expect a certain level of IP protection and enforcement that aligns with global practices, facilitating smoother international operations and filings.


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