Industrial Design Law Adopted by the Parliament

The Myanmar Industrial Design Law was passed by the Assembly of the Union on January 30, 2019 following its adoption by the Lower House and the Upper House. The Myanmar Patents and Designs (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1946 is repealed by this Law according to Article 87.

Protection will be available for any industrial design which is new.

According to the law, an industrial design shall be regarded as being new unless it was printed, used, published, displayed or disclosed in any manner in Myanmar or not for public information before its application date in Myanmar or priority claim, if any.

An industrial design shall not be regarded as being new if it is combined with or not significantly different from features of the commonly known industrial designs. Protection will not be available for industrial designs which includes technological or functional features or creations.

Other salient features of the law are:

  • Multiple design applications are available;

  • Priority claim is available;

  • Employer and employee rights;

  • Pre-grant opposition and post grant cancellation actions are available;

  • Maximum of 15 years protection period (initial period of 5 years + 2 renewals)

  • Possibility for the applicant to postpone the publication of the design in the Design Gazette;

  • Formality and substantive examination

  • Civil remedies in the form of injunctions and damages;

  • Criminal remedies are only available in case of misleading statement that a design is registered when in reality it is not. There are no criminal remedies available in case of infringement of a third party’s registered design

  • There is no provision to refile designs which were recorded under the Registration Act of 1908 with the RDA, which means all past designs recorded in Myanmar will become invalid and un-enforceable when the new law comes into force.

The Industrial Design law will require implementing regulation to address various procedural aspects This will involve three steps:

President of Myanmar to issue notification for enforcing the Industrial Design Law;

Implementing Regulation to be issued;

IP Office to be established for receiving design applications.

The law may then be implemented around May 2019.


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