On the pivotal date of March 11, 2019, the law of Patent in Myanmar marked a historic milestone by enacting its maiden Patent Law, dedicated exclusively to the realm of patent protection. This watershed moment in Myanmar’s legal landscape signifies a strategic move towards aligning with global intellectual property standards.

Under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce, the Directorate of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office has been entrusted with the enforcement of this groundbreaking law. While the detailed implementing regulations are still forthcoming, their imminent release heralds a new era for patent rights within the nation.

A notable feature of the new Patent Law is the establishment of a Myanmar Intellectual Property Office, comprising a Registrar, a dedicated department for the registration and recording of patent rights, and a cadre of Examiners tasked with various responsibilities, including the administration of patent-related duties and broader intellectual property obligations.


The ambit of protection outlined by the Patent Law is comprehensive, covering both utility models (petty patents) with a decade-long duration and patents with a more extended term of 20 years. The patentability criteria—novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability—apply universally, though small patents enjoy an exemption from the inventive step requirement. Mirroring global standards, Myanmar refrains from granting patents for discoveries, scientific ideas, mathematical techniques, business practices, systems, or computer programs. Notably, methods for treating the human and animal body, innovations related to naturally occurring chemicals, and their novel uses are also excluded from patentability.

A temporal nuance exists for specific categories;. At the same time, chemical items for agricultural, food, and microbiological uses are exempt from protection until July 1, 2021, pharmaceutical products enjoy a more protracted exemption until January 1, 2033. These exemptions align with the extended transitional period accorded to least-developed nation members under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).

Patent Application in Myanmar

Facilitating a global outlook, patent applications can be submitted in English or Burmese, accompanied by a certified translation stipulated by the registrar. Following the Paris Convention, priority claims are recognized, allowing applicants a generous 36-month window from the filing date to request a substantive examination. Additionally, the Myanmar patent system incorporates provisions for invocating compulsory licensing.

This monumental collection of patent laws not only signifies Myanmar’s earnest commitment to intellectual property rights but also paves the way for the development of a meticulously organized and comprehensive patent regime. As Myanmar strides towards this legal evolution, it converges with international legal systems and norms, positioning itself as a progressive player on the global intellectual property stage.