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Trade Name Protection in Myanmar: What You Need To Know


Trade names play a vital role in distinguishing one business from another, contributing to brand recognition and reputation. In Myanmar, trade names are considered intellectual property subject matter and are granted protection under the Trademark Law. At KENFOX, we recognize the significance of trade names and their role in shaping a business’s success. As a prominent intellectual property law firm in Myanmar, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive IP services to safeguard and enhance our clients’ intellectual property assets, including trade names. In this article, we delve into the concept of trade names in Myanmar, explore the extent of their protection, and shed light on the provisions set in place to ensure these valuable assets remain secure.

Definition of trade name

Trade name, as defined in subsection (q) of Section 2 of Myanmar’s Trademark Law, is a name or a specification used to distinguish one undertaking from another. A trade name is categorized as an intellectual property subject matter. Generally, a trade name serves as a distinctive identifier for businesses, allowing consumers to associate specific products or services with a particular company. Trade names are integral to establishing a strong market presence and fostering consumer trust.

Unregistered trade name protection

One significant aspect of Myanmar’s Trademark Law is that it provides protection to unregistered trade names. Under Section 63(a), even if a trade name has not been formally registered, it automatically receives legal protection. This provision grants businesses some level of security, encouraging innovation and the use of distinctive trade names without the immediate need for formal registration.

Public order and morality

To maintain ethical business practices and protect public interests, Section 63(b) of the Trademark Law outlines restrictions on trade names. Any trade name or description that is contrary to public order or morals or that deceives consumers regarding the nature of the business cannot be used as a trade name. This provision acts as a safeguard against offensive or deceptive trade names, which could negatively impact society and create confusion among consumers.

Protection against misleading use

Section 63(c) reinforces the protection of trade names by prohibiting unauthorized use that may mislead the public. If another business utilizes an identical or similar trade name or trademark without proper authorization, it is considered infringement, and the law extends protection to the original trade name owner. This provision discourages unfair competition and safeguards businesses from potential loss of reputation and customer base due to misleading practices.

Limited coverage

While trade names are recognized as an intellectual property subject matter under Myanmar’s Trademark Law, it is crucial to note that they are addressed in a relatively concise manner. Unlike trademarks, which have comprehensive provisions for registration, opposition, and enforcement, trade names have a more limited scope of coverage. This distinction may impact the strategies businesses employ in protecting their intellectual property rights effectively.

Interpretation and Enforcement

The inclusion of trade names as intellectual property subject matters in Myanmar’s Trademark Law highlights their significance in the country’s business environment. Recognizing trade names as valuable assets underscores the importance of protecting business identities and fostering fair competition. However, Mynmar Trademark Law does not provide explicit processes to enforce against a trade name infringement. Despite the lack of explicit processes, it is expected that trade name infringement enforcement in Myanmar will be similar to that of trademarks reflects an effort to maintain consistency and equity in the treatment of intellectual property matters. This suggests that existing procedures used to address trademark infringements could potentially be applied to trade name disputes.

Final thoughts

Trade names are an essential aspect of intellectual property and are afforded protection under Myanmar’s Trademark Law. Their automatic protection, even without formal registration, provides some level of security to businesses. Provisions against offensive and misleading trade names ensure public interests are preserved and consumer trust is maintained.

While the current legal framework recognizes trade names, it is crucial for businesses and individuals operating in Myanmar to remain aware of the nuances and limitations in the law. At KENFOX, we stand as a dedicated ally to businesses seeking to protect and enhance their intellectual property assets, including trade names. Our comprehensive IP services, coupled with a deep understanding of Myanmar’s legal landscape, empower our clients to navigate the complexities of trade name protection with confidence

By Nguyen Vu QUAN

Partner & IP Attorney

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