LAW UPDATE: 17 February 2023


According to the recent communication from Myanmar’s Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) on 12 January 2023, the upcoming trademark law for Myanmar is expected to come into effect in March 2023. This was mentioned in the DIP’s notice concerning the training program for trademark representatives. Although the effective date of the law and the exact date of the Grand Opening of the new registration system have yet to be officially announced, this recent communication marks significant progress – one step closer – toward modernizing trademark protection in Myanmar.

The new law is poised to bring a new era of trademark protection to the country. This law, which was originally passed in January 2019, will provide trademark owners with formal protection and a structured registration process that aligns with international standards.

With an aim to facilitate a smooth transition, in 2020 the DIP introduced a transitional period known as the “Soft Opening” for trademark filings. During this period, trademark owners can file “old” trademarks before the new law comes into effect. These old trademarks include those that have been registered with the Office of Registration of Deeds by way of Declaration of Ownership under the current regime, or those that have already been put into use in Myanmar. “New” trademarks can only be filed after the Grand Opening commences.

It is anticipated that Rules and Regulations, including an official fee structure, will be announced in the near future. As a result, trademark applicants who have submitted their applications during the Soft Opening period will be required to pay official fees in order to facilitate the progression of their applications into the newly established registration system.

It is advisable for trademark proprietors to consider filing their marks without delay, as the duration of the Soft Opening period remains open-ended. All trademarks filed during this period will be officially recognized as having been filed on the first day of the new system. This will be of significant importance under the upcoming legislation, as Myanmar transitions to the first-to-file principle.

At Domnern Somgiat & Boonma (DS&B), we are dedicated to monitoring the situation closely and keeping you informed of any further developments. We will provide you with the latest information and guidance to ensure that you are fully equipped to take advantage of the new trademark law in Myanmar. For more information, contact