Following the passing of new IP legislation and in anticipation of its implementation, last year the WTR 1000 introduced a Myanmar chapter to track the major players in this rapidly growing market. Now, significant developments are underway in the region. Since the long-awaited Trademark Law was passed in early 2019, firms have been busy preparing themselves and their clients for the enactment of this important new piece of legislation. After months of delay and uncertainty, in late August the announcement finally came. The soft launch is set to run from 1 October 2020 until 31 March 2021. During this period of transition, trademark owners will be able to re-register marks to ensure that their current rights are maintained under the upcoming first-to-file system. Applications for new marks will be accepted after the grand opening of the Myanmar Department of Intellectual Property on 1 April 2021.
- Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants
- Baker McKenzie
- Kelvin Chia Partnership
- Khine Khine U
- LawPlus Ltd
- Tilleke & Gibbins
- Tin Ohnmar Tun Law Office
- TMI Associates
- U Myint Lwin Law Office
- U Nyunt Tin Associates
Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants
Vietnamese law firm Ageless debuts in the WTR 1000 Myanmar chapter this year. Since opening shop in 2019 in preparation for the new Trademark Law, the outfit has been busy maintaining the portfolios of its impressive international client base – something that it does with both attention to detail and efficiency. Pham Thi Tuoi heads the department of foreign trademarks, leading the six-strong team of local lawyers. Leveraging 10 years of IP experience in Myanmar, she gets a lot done for rights holders quickly and effectively.
Baker McKenzie is the go-to for multinationals seeking robust trademark protection in Myanmar. Distinguished by its technical sophistication and cloud-based IP management system, the team takes care of prosecution and enforcement tasks with minimum fuss while offering value-add services such as IP due diligence assessment and trademark monitoring. Overseeing the Yangon office’s growing practice, IP and technology-focused senior associate Chadd Concepcion is highly appreciated for his “business-focused insights, innovative approaches and strategic solutions”.
Kelvin Chia Partnership
Kelvin Chia Partnership, which has nine offices in seven countries across Asia, enjoys a longstanding presence in Myanmar thanks to its two decades of experience operating in the country. With bureaus in Yangon and Mandalay, the team’s exceptional understanding of local conditions and legislation, combined with its international capabilities, gives it an edge when it comes to cross-border brand protection. Singapore-based Esther Rose Nicolas Rances oversees a three-person ensemble of trademark practitioners.
Khine Khine U
Advising clients on trademark registration and counterfeiting issues, Khine Khine U Law Firm’s very own Khine Khine U is highly regarded among her peers. She is a leading figure in the trademark field in Myanmar and has made significant contributions to the national IP discussion, serving as general secretary at the Myanmar Intellectual Property Proprietors’ Association and regularly publishing papers and articles on IP matters. She is fluent in both English and Myanmar.
Since its foundation in 2013, Thai outfit LawPlus has become a respected name in intellectual property in Myanmar. It has an excellent track record of assisting multinationals from Japan, Thailand and the United States, putting the strongest trademark protections in place while resolving difficult infringement issues. In addition to filing and enforcement, the firm frequently handles corporate and commercial issues for patrons, working in close collaboration with its head office in Bangkok. Partner Khin Khin Zaw brings 24 years of experience to the table. Before joining LawPlus, she worked at a Singapore law firm before moving to Myanmar to open her own practice.
When its Yangon office opened in 2013, Rouse became the first international IP firm with a physical presence in the country. The outfit comfortably handles a wide range of IP assignments across a cross-section of industries and works closely with local authorities to protect clients’ IP rights to the hilt. The team manages over 50 portfolios and provides invaluable assistance to foreign businesses looking to file trademarks in Myanmar – the side also carries out non-cancellation and enforcement actions. Moe Mynn Thu is a seasoned senior IP lawyer who has lectured at the University of Yangon since 2005 and is a current member of the IP laws drafting committee.
Tilleke & Gibbins
Southeast Asian supreme Tilleke & Gibbins is a reliable guide to IP rights protection in Myanmar. Equally outstanding in non-contentious areas of trademark practice and enforcement, it caters to clients’ every branding need. Worthy of special mention is the set’s anti-counterfeiting expertise, the deployment of which has led to stellar results for world-renowned fashion brands among others. Testament to the side’s knowledge in this area, it is called on by the government to train and educate enforcement officials. A great contributor to the firm’s success, Yuwadee Thean-ngarm has overseen the Yangon office from the beginning. For the past three years she has also served as secretary general of the Thai Business Association of Myanmar, as well as having played an important advisory role during the drafting process of the IP laws enacted in 2019. Working alongside Yuwadee is award-winning IP consultant Sher Hann Chua, who in 2019 became the first practitioner in Southeast Asia to receive INTA’s Tomorrow’s Leader Award for her contributions in the field.
Tin Ohnmar Tun Law Office
IP and maritime law specialist Tin Ohnmar Tun Law Office is favoured by numerous international brand owners looking to strengthen their IP protection in Myanmar and defend their marks against infringement. The small but excellent team has established a solid reputation for quality thanks to the leadership shown by founder Tin Ohnmar Tun. Tun delivers crisp results for prestigious names such as Louis Vuitton, British American Tobacco and Colgate Palmolive, and is hailed as a pathfinder when complex and nuanced IP and legal issues arise.
A leading Japanese and international firm, TMI makes the most of its 80-plus IP lawyers, 85-plus patent and trademark attorneys and large support staff to provide a fulsome service for brand-rich companies. With a base in Yangon for just over eight years, it fields a local team that works collaboratively with colleagues in Tokyo to satisfy the needs of Japanese and other companies when it comes to trademark protection, enforcement and licensing matters. Taking charge in the region is Aung Htin Kyaw, whose up-to-date knowledge and guaranteed conscientiousness ensure a seamless service.
U Myint Lwin Law Office
Experienced at navigating the local IP landscape – as it has done for over 25 years – U Myint Lwin aligns itself as a key partner to rights holders foreign and domestic. Engaged in other areas of legal practice too – including corporate and litigation – the firm is a reliable one-stop shop for those conducting business in Myanmar. Founder U Myint Lwin is an expert in IP registration and enforcement.
U Nyunt Tin Associates
For more than 50 years, U Nyunt Tin Associates has been advising clients in its focus areas of intellectual property, investment, corporate infrastructure, technology and regulatory affairs. Having handled more than 4,000 international trademarks for companies worldwide, including Samsung, Lenovo, Apple and Toyota, the outfit makes a particularly strong impression in intellectual property. At the forefront of modernisation, U Nyunt Tin Associates was the first firm in the country to transform itself into an interactive information and communications technology-based organisation and to open an office in Thailand. In addition to providing trademark registration services and leading mediation processes in the event of disputes, its practitioners are skilled in negotiating and drafting contractual agreements on behalf of licensors and licensees alike. Co-head of intellectual property Aye Aye Khaing has over 15 years’ experience in advising clients on trademark filing and cautionary notices. Recognised for her competence, she has earned the trust of Coca-Cola and other well-known international brands.
- Sher Chua - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Chadd Concepcion - Baker McKenzie
- Aye Aye Khaing - U Nyunt Tin Associates
- U Myint Lwin - U Myint Lwin Law Office
- Esther Rose Nicolas Rances - Kelvin Chia Partnership
- Yuwadee Thean-ngarm - Tilleke & Gibbins
- Moe Mynn Thu - Rouse
- Tin Ohnmar Tun - Tin Ohnmar Tun Law Office
- Pham Thi Tuoi - Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants
- Khine U - TMI Associates
- Khine U - Khine Khine U
- Khin Khin Zaw - LawPlus Ltd