Intellectual Property

Often intellectual property rights represent the single most important asset that a company or an individual possesses. H&R attorneys have a strong expertise in the areas of Trademark, Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection, Unfair Competition and Trade, Trade Secret, Copyright, Design-Patent and Trade Dress, Trademark Portfolio Management, Right of Publicity, Internet, and Art Law.

The 2008 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar provides in "The Basic Principles of the Union" for the protection of property, such as Section 36 (Fair Competition), Section 37(c) (IP Protection), Section 372 (IP Protection) and Schedule 1/7 (IP Laws-Union Legislative List). Under the Constitution, the following laws concern IP rights in Myanmar (there is no specific trademark law, nor a patent and industrial design law – the Patent and Design (Emergency Provisions) Act of 1946 is not in effect):

  • Penal Code - 1861
  • Specific Relief Act - 1877
  • Myanmar Merchandise Marks Act - 1889
  • Registration Act - 1908
  • Sea Customs Act – 1878
  • Land Customs Act - 1924
  • Control of Money Laundering Law - 2002
  • Myanmar Copyright Act - 1914
  • Myanmar Citizen Investment Law – 1994
  • Private Industry Law – 1990
  • Science and Technology Development Law – 1994
  • Myanmar Computer Science Development Law – 1996
  • Television and Video Law – 1996
  • Motion Picture Law – 1996
  • Electronic Transaction Law – 2004
  • Myanmar Foreign Investment Law – 2012

Myanmar is member of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) and, since 2001, the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”). The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS Agreement”), which came into force in 1995, and whose terms on copyright and related rights, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial designs and layout-designs of integrated circuits, complement the international treaties administered by WIPO, is expected to become effective by 2014.

HRMR combines the efforts of our intellectual property attorneys with the resources of a global law firm to assist our clients in all aspects of intellectual property. The IP Practice Group is integrated with other H&R practice groups such as litigation, antitrust (competition), employment, corporate & securities, tax, and banking & financial services, all of which directly relate to intellectual property matters. HRMR intellectual property attorneys work seamlessly with their colleagues irrespective of office location or trans-border legal differences. HRMR attorneys have represented clients in a full range of intellectual property matters such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, franchising and advertising. Whether there is need for the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, employing the expertise of our attorneys, patent agents and technical specialists, or litigating and resolving trademark disputes, HRMR is committed to maximize value and minimize potential liability.

HRMR ensures that the client's interests are protected every step of the way. When a company acquires, sells, or licenses intellectual property, tax and corporate experts should structure the transaction in such a way as to minimize the client's domestic and foreign tax exposure. H&R attorneys advise advertisers, software developers and corporations on how to protect and exploit their creative efforts using trademarks and copyrights. Our attorneys also advise on the use and licensing of various protected works and protect product name clearance, trademark registrations, defenses and/or oppositions, copyright registrations and technology and computer software licensing. We also represent the clients’ interest in a wide range of judicial and administrative forums.

Trademark

Whether it is the filing a single trademark application in the U.S. or elsewhere, overcoming a final refusal from the examining attorney or a third-party opposition, or handling complex international trademark prosecutions, we strive to secure and maintain our clients’ rights and to enhance their commercial reputation.

Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection

Counterfeiting has become one of the most serious offences against companies in the domestic and global market and one that is increasingly easy to perpetrate. To confront this, our firm provides clients with a broad range of enforcement mechanisms, effective resources, and creative strategies at competitive rates.

Through take-down notices, cease-and-desist letters, criminal referrals, enforcement advice, U.S. and international investigations, and the support of border enforcement measures, the Intellectual Property group offers clients the most comprehensive anti-counterfeit service for stopping or minimizing the impact of copycats.

Unfair Competition and Trade

To defend themselves against the fraudulent, deceptive, or dishonest trade practice of their competitors, our lawyers find fast and effective ways to combat unfair trade practices within the labyrinth of the numerous Myanmar laws and regulations, as detailed above.

Trade Secrets

Secret know-how, exclusive processes, and undisclosed formulas are not the only form of business information we advise on. Our attorneys know that other assets, such as marketing plans, business methods, and customer lists can be equally key in determining the success of an enterprise.

To help our clients with all aspects of trade secret protection and exploitation, we provide specific counseling, and prepare ad-hoc employment contracts, nondisclosure, and licensing agreements. When necessary and unavoidable, we do enforce our client’s rights through litigation.

Internet

Whether helping a small start up venture, an individual, or a 500 Fortune company, H&R attorneys provide clients with the most effective representation in the complicated and often uncharted waters of the cyberspace. For example, we assist our clients in monitoring the Internet for infringements, and register domain names and we represent clients on both ends of the acquisition process. After securing the acquisition of the domain names, we help our clients with the management of their portfolios.

Copyright

The Intellectual Property Practice Group’s attorneys cover a broad array of copyright activities, that range from copyright analysis and registration to copyright enforcement and policing in different markets and countries, including the negotiation of acquisition, settlement, and license agreements for individuals or companies. The Myanmar Copyright Act, which is based on the British 1911 law with the same name, provides for no copyright registration procedure, does not provide for the copyright of another country to be recorded in Myanmar. Copyright obtained in other countries cannot be enforced in Myanmar. Yet, copyright infringement has been addressed under the Specific Relief Act, sect. 54, which provides for civil remedies against copyright infringements. A copyright/trademark owner can look for redress under The Control of Money Laundering Law of 2002, which provides for criminal penalties, including imprisonment and confiscation of the infringing goods in cases of infringement of trademarks and/or copyrights which are defined as “money laundering offences.” Other remedies are available to a trademark owner under sections 7, 9 and 13 of The Myanmar Merchandise Marks Act, concerning goods which are labeled with a counterfeit trademark. Finally, criminal penalties can also be imposed under sect. 478 of the Penal Code, which also defines trademarks.

99B Myay Nu Street, LAMAI Condo, Suite 6D, Sanchaung Twp., Yangon 11111, Myanmar - Phone: +95 1 230-5935
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