WIPO had an online training on 17 December 2019 and a consultation meeting with IP lawyers on 18 December 2019. We have good news and bad news to share with you:
Bad news first – because why not? Let’s get that out of the way!
Yes, we have been waiting for this eagerly BUT the fees have still yet to be announced officially by the respective Ministry.
According to them, Official Fees will not be levied during the soft opening period. However, applicants are to pay the Official Fees later based on the number of registered classes during the soft opening.
This is how the Online Filing page will appear when we file your application during the Soft Opening stage:
The Myanmar IP Department will announce the Official Fees before the grand opening. Declaration will be by notification on the IP Department’s website of online filing and this declaration on the official fees may be given one month before the grand opening.
The only other hint that was given during the consultation with IP lawyers was that the Official Fees will be lower than the Official Fees charged by IPOS (IP Office of Singapore). In the event you are wondering what IPOS charges for trademark applications, they charge:
USD 205: For class(es) whereby goods/services are fully adopted from pre-approved database.
USD 280: For class(es) whereby goods/services are not fully adopted from pre-approved database.
Thus, the hint indicates that Myanmar’s Official Fees for its trademark applications in the Soft Opening will be less than USD 205 per application.
Soft opening date
Yes, you have been waiting for this as well. Sadly, no dates were given by the respective Ministry.
So you may ask – what is the Good News?!!
The IP Office has given clearer guidance on the mandatory documents needed for the application process. They are as follows:
1. Old Registered Certificate issued by Registry of Deeds
Evidence of Use (unlimited documents are allowed to be submitted as evidence of use)
2. TM2 – Appointment of Representatives. Basically this form acts like a Power of Attorney – it is the form that gives the right from the Applicant to the Representative to handle the trademark prosecution on their behalf. This document must be signed by the applicant and then sent to us. No notarisation or legalisation is required.
Once we receive the original documents, we then need to attach Stamps to the document – i.e. stamps bought from the Myanmar’s Internal Revenue Development. We will handle this for you. Stamp Duty is very low, almost negligible. The representative on behalf of an applicant must be a Myanmar citizen (this means he/she is a National Registration Card holder) and also has a business address in Myanmar;
3. Application Form. After all the information is provided online, our IP lawyer will get the draft application, with an e-filing number affixed on the form. We then need to print out and sign this application form and scan the form and attach it back to the online system and submit the form (at this stage you are probably wondering, why is it called an Online Application. We wonder the same too). Perhaps version 2.0 will allow for Digital Signatures.
Moving on… some interesting data and information was shared during the consultation segment:
- According to the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Commerce, there are around 2000 trademarks under the current trademark registration system in Myanmar. These marks need to re-filed during the soft opening.
- A Trademark Attorneys Association will be created in the near future in accordance with international standards.
- The new system will apply the “first to file” principle. However, during the soft opening, the system will be “first to use” (and that is why evidence of use or the old registration certificate is required).
- Online filing for soft opening is only allowed for IP Law firms, Law Firms and Companies who are actively offering IP services in Myanmar.
- Individuals cannot file through the online filing system and they can only submit manually at the IP Department. Individuals can only file one or two months before the grand opening.
There you have it! The good news from Myanmar, just in time for festive season – Happy New Year everyone!!!