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Patent Ownership Rights in Employee Inventions under Myanmar Patent Law


1. Default Ownership under Employment Contract (Section 17(a))

  • Inventions created by an employee under the employment contract.
  • Default ownership and patent application rights usually belong to the employer if:
  • Invention falls within employee’s work duties.
  • Invention was created using employer’s resources or facilities.

2. Exceptions to Default Ownership

If employment contract contains clauses stating otherwise:

  • Employee retains right to apply for patent.
  • Especially for inventions outside regular duties or using personal resources.

3. Employee’s Right to Apply for Patent if Employer Fails to Act (Section 17(b)) 

  • Employee informs employer in writing upon completion of the invention.
  • Employer has 6 months to apply for patent.
  • If employer doesn’t apply within 6 months, employee gains right to apply for patent.

4. Inventions Made After Employment Contract Expiration (Section 17(c))

  • Invention within 1 year after contract expiration in the same field.
  • Initially, patent rights belong to the employer as if under the contract.
  • Employee eligible if:
  • Agreement in contract granting right to apply.
  • Employer doesn’t apply for patent.
  • Employer’s failure to apply within specified time. 

5. Employee’s Right to Patent Unassigned Inventions (Section 17(d))

  • Invention related to employer’s work but not explicitly assigned.
  • Using employer’s equipment, data, or technology.
  • Employee eligible to apply for patent by default.
  • Employment contract clauses may alter ownership (employer’s right to apply).

By Nguyen Vu QUAN

Partner & IP Attorney

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