WTO extends the deadline to apply the TRIPS agreement to Myanmar and other LDC countriesAAA IPRIGHT2
The TRIPS Agreement, like other agreements such as the CPTPP, required its member countries to comply with its regulations in a fixed amount of time. However, not all countries have the infrastructure and necessary resources to change their legal foundation at an incredibly tight time frame like that. Accordingly, the WTO has just approved another 13-year extension of the least developed country (LDC) transition period for applying the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
Under the TRIPS Agreement’s minimum standards, the member countries need to comply with the substantive rules under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, as well as rules on the protection of trademarks, geographical indications, patents, industrial designs, layout designs of integrated circuits, and undisclosed information.
Recognizing that the LDC countries don’t have the capabilities to make the necessary changes and comply with all of the above-mentioned Agreements on such short notice, the WTO has agreed consensually to extend the deadline for LDC countries for another 13 years.
The decision to extend the deadline to apply the TRIPS agreement to the LDC countries comes just two days before the original expiry date of July 1, 2021. Accordingly, the new deadline for LDC countries to comply with the agreement is July 1, 2034.
However, the LDC countries still need to comply with some previously established agreements that were feasible for them, such as articles on equal treatment for foreign parties, most-favored-nation status, and obligations under World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) treaties.
Myanmar, also one of the LDC countries, has also been the subject of the extension. Particularly, the impacts of the extension of the TRIPS agreement to Myanmar are phenomenal considering this country is going through a major uprising at the moment.
The impacts of the extension of the TRIPS agreement to Myanmar
Due to many reasons, the new trademark law of Myanmar has been delayed with no official time regarding when it will come back. The delay of the trademark law leads to the delay of the other three laws of Myanmar because The Ministry of Commerce of Myanmar has indicated that those laws will only come into effect after the official ‘reappearance’ of the Trademark Law.
This means that the protections for industrial designs, patents, and copyrights will continue to proceed under the common law system and related existing laws, while the owner of a trademark in Myanmar can only protect their assets via a Declaration of Ownership under the old system, which is very obsolete and unpractical.
While this extension of the TRIPS transition period for Myanmar and other LDC countries is not something extremely urgent that requires an immediate response because of the fact that it is a 13-year deadline expansion, businesses in Myanmar both domestically and internationally should put a reminder to the changes coming to Myanmar in the upcoming times to best prepare and devise a comprehensive strategy to continue operate smoothly in this country.
*** Other Articles***
– You could visit here to see Procedure of Myanmar Trademark Registration.
– You could see the full new Myanmar Trademark law here
– You could visit here to see Procedure of Myanmar Trademark Registration (effective soon).
– You could visit here to check the required documents for filing trademark in Myanmar
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