In response to the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 found in Myanmar, and concern about the disease’s spread, all branches of Myanmar’s Office of Registration and Deeds (ORD) have temporarily ceased accepting declarations. While this is not expected to impact the highly anticipated soft opening of the country’s new Department of Intellectual Property, due to start October 1, 2020, it will affect IP owners who have not yet registered their mark with the ORD but who would like to take advantage of trademark re-registration under the soft opening period.
The soft opening period is intended to allow holders of trademarks registered under the old system, administered by the ORD, to refile their trademarks under the new law. Thus, owners of unregistered marks had been told that they were able to register their marks now by filing a declaration with the ORD, so that they would then be eligible to refile under the new law when the soft opening period begins on October 1, 2020. However, this new closure means that such filings are not currently possible, and will remain unavailable until the ORD restarts operations and again begins accepting declarations.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to publish relevant updates on the situation surrounding the new Trademark Law, and on Myanmar’s response to COVID-19, as they emerge. For more details on any aspect of protecting intellectual property or conducting business activities in Myanmar during this time, please contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected] or +95 1 8255 208.