On October 18, 2023, Myanmar’s State Administration Council (SAC) issued notifications announcing the enforcement date of the Industrial Design Law and Copyright Law, which were both enacted in 2019. Notifications No. 217/2023 and No. 218/2023 set October 31, 2023, as the effective date for the Industrial Design Law and the Copyright Law, respectively. These notifications mark the beginning of the substantive protection framework for industrial designs and copyrights in the country.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Commerce had already issued the Industrial Design Rules on September 29, 2023, laying out procedures and guidelines for registration of industrial designs under the Industrial Design Law. The next step will be the announcement of forms and official fees for conducting industrial design-related matters at Myanmar’s Intellectual Property Department (IPD)—a step that is imminent now that the effective date of the law has been announced. Rights owners should therefore begin assessing their portfolios and preparing the requirements for applying for registration to secure statutory rights for their industrial designs in Myanmar.
The protection of copyrights arises automatically without a mandatory registration process. However, when the new Copyright Law takes effect, replacing the old Copyright Act of 1914, rights owners will be able to voluntarily record their copyrights under the framework established by the new law. These recordals can provide stronger evidence of ownership in the event of a dispute over the copyright work.
For more information on these developments, or to check on the latest updates to Myanmar’s legal framework for protecting intellectual property, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected].