Myanmar Passes First-ever Patent Law

by Admin on September 12, 2019

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Myanmar recently passed its first-ever patent law to protect novel, innovative, and industrially applicable inventions in the country.

Under the new law, though, only patents that meet the criteria above can be protected.

Discoveries, scientific theories, business methods, mental acts, computer programs, biological processes, diagnostic techniques, and other similar things cannot be patented in Myanmar.

The law also establishes the Directorate of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office, under the Ministry of Commerce, that will oversee patent applications and existing patents.

Special provisions in the bill state that pharmaceutical patents will not be protected until 2033 and chemical patents won’t be protected until 2021.

For national security reasons, those residing in Myanmar must first seek permission from the Directorate of Patents before applying for a patent in another country.

Patents okayed by the Directorate of Patents will be protected for 20 years.

However, patents that are deemed “petty” will only receive 10 years of protection.

Claims of patent infringement can be filed in the Intellectual Property Court, which is expected to be established soon by the Supreme Court of Myanmar.

Those who commit patent infringement can be jailed for up to a year or fined up to $1,300.

Applications can be filed in either English or Burmese.

It’s still not yet known when Myanmar’s new patent act will take effect.

Read the translated version of the full 2019 Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Law (No. 7) here.

Related: Thailand Patent and Intellectual Property Law

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