Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Myanmar IP law saga slowly heads to conclusion

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With Myanmar's IP laws promised for many years, but still not enacted, the slow pace of government in contrast to business is being exposed. The IP law drafts are still with the Parliament. The Law Drafting Committee passed the Draft IP Laws to the Parliament on January 17, 2018 for a final debate.  The hope is now that the laws will be enacted in the coming few months. They will still need a period before coming into force, then there is the preparation of the relevant subordinate rules and regulations. But at least 2018 now appears to be the year they will be enacted. 

In another twist the primary Ministry will be changed from Ministry of Education (formerly known as the Ministry of Science and Technology) to the Ministry of Commence and as a result, right now, Ministry of Commerce is preparing the new IP infrastructure including transferring staff from the MOE.

The launch of the Fashion Designers Entrepreneur Association in February was a reason for that industry to criticise the lack of IP progress. Mogok Pauk Pauk, vice-chair of the association complained to the media "people are copying our designs and ....destroying our trade because they have money and we don’t have copyright,” she said.

This will be an important year for Myanmar and IP development.

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