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Myanmar Could Have IP Law by June

Issued: May 13 2013

While Myanmar continues work on adopting its first IP law, ASEAN members have elected Daw Tin Ohnmar Tun president of ASEAN Intellectual Property Association, to head Myanmar’s IP association for two years.

On April 6, 2013, Moe Moe Thwe, a director at the Ministry of Science and Technology, told The Myanmar Times at the ASEAN IPA international conference that the drafting of an IP law had begun since 2004 with various consultations of concerned parties, and had been repeatedly amended.
“This is the 10th draft, and we believe this draft is in conformity with ASEAN and international standards,” said Thwe. “The drafting is about 80% complete, and we hope the parliament can approve it in June.”
Tun acknowledged that the presence of a good IP law can help assuage concerns of foreign investors and can lead to increased foreign direct investment and trade.
“One of the first questions foreign investors have is: does Myanmar have an IP law or IP protection act? Myanmar is the last ASEAN country to pass an IP law. We have trade registration and criminal laws, but we don’t yet have an IP protection law. We soon will. We have more IP members than other ASEAN countries, but we have to do a lot more to raise awareness throughout the country,” said Tun.
Toe Su Aung, the London-based general counsel, anti-illicit trade at BATMark Limited, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, and president of the International Trademark Association (INTA), tells Asia IP that INTA has also been heavily involved in helping Myanmar craft its intellectual property law.
“Last year, INTA was invited to Naypyidaw for discussions with the government,” says Aung. “We got on well with them, and knew it was important to follow up with them in Yangon. It’s really important work; it’s good for the country and for our members alike to ensure that Myanmar’s trademark law is robust.”


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