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Patent Licensing in Myanmar: Transfer, Ownership, and Opportunities


In Myanmar’s dynamic landscape of intellectual property, patent rights stand as a cornerstone for innovation protection. These rights provide inventors and creators with a legal foundation to safeguard their groundbreaking ideas. Additionally, the process of transferring ownership and granting licenses adds layers of complexity to patent management. This article delves into the intricacies of patent rights transfer and licensing within Myanmar’s legal framework, highlighting the significance of these provisions through illustrative examples.

The Power of Transfer: Shifting Patent Ownership

The journey of a patent begins with an applicant, and the rights associated with it can be seamlessly transferred to other individuals or legally formed organizations. This transfer of patent application or ownership involves a formal process overseen by the Registrar, ensuring the transition adheres to stipulated guidelines.

Recording Transfer: A Public Declaration

Transparency and accountability underpin Myanmar’s patent system. When a patent applicant, transferee, or patentee initiates a transfer, the Registrar records the change in ownership. This recording serves as a public announcement, reinforcing the legitimacy of the transfer and maintaining the integrity of the patent system.

Ensuring Effectiveness: Application for Transfer

It’s important to note that the transfer of patent ownership isn’t effective without an application submitted to the Registrar. This safeguard ensures that the transfer process is formalized and recognized, preventing any ambiguities or disputes.

Special Considerations: Genes, Biological Resources, and Traditional Knowledge

In cases involving inventions derived from genes, biological resources, or traditional knowledge of the Union, the Agency exercises a specific role. The Agency may instruct patentees to direct profits from patent-related enterprises to relevant organizations when certain conditions are met. Furthermore, the Agency may withdraw a patent application or mandate relinquishment if public interest or concerns regarding morality and order arise.

Example: In an instance where a patentee unintentionally omitted information related to traditional knowledge in a patent application for a herbal remedy, the Agency directs the patentee to channel profits from the patented product to a local traditional medicine institute to preserve cultural heritage.

Licensing: Enabling Controlled Usage

Patentees have the authority to grant licenses to individuals or organizations, allowing controlled usage of their patented technology. Licensing agreements lay down the terms and conditions governing this usage, promoting collaboration and innovation.

Example: Jacob, a patentee in the automotive industry, licenses a cutting-edge engine technology to a leading car manufacturer. The licensing agreement specifies terms, royalties, and usage parameters, facilitating the integration of his invention into the manufacturer’s product lineup.

Formalizing Licensing: Registrar’s Role

Just as with transfers, recording a granted license involves a formal process. The patentee or licensee applies to the Registrar, submitting the necessary documentation and paying the prescribed fee. The Registrar ensures that the license agreement aligns with patent rights and fosters competition without hindering Union interests.

A bottom line

Myanmar’s patent rights and licensing framework embody a delicate balance between inventors’ rights, public interests, and collaboration. As Myanmar’s innovation ecosystem continues to flourish, a nuanced understanding of these provisions becomes indispensable for inventors, patentees, and organizations seeking to leverage patented technologies for mutual benefit.

By Nguyen Vu QUAN

Partner & IP Attorney

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