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    Japan Patent OfficeJPO will Strengthen its Cooperation Relationship with Myanmar in the Field of Intellectual Property-JPO will dispatch a long-term IP expert to Myanmar for the first time-

    From March 2, 2015, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) will dispatch its official for an extended period of time to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Myanmar, through the Dispatch of Experts Program operated by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). In the country, the JPO will provide Myanmar, which is advancing the preparation of establishing its intellectual property (IP) office, with JPO’s know-how on management, and will support the country in smoothly starting its services at the IP office. By doing so, the JPO will encourage the country to develop an environment in which IP rights will be appropriately protected.

    1. Background

    As Myanmar, a country with huge population of over 50 million, is rapidly moving toward democratization along with advancing economic reform, it has also been attracting much global attention as an investment target recently. Following this trend, the number of Japanese companies developing business in Myanmar is also soaring.* However, the legal system to protect IP rights in the country is not organized well, and an IP office has not even been established there yet. Development of an IP system, a significant infrastructure as a base for developing Myanmar’s economy, is an urgent challenge even for the government of Myanmar.

    The JPO has sent 26 IP experts through 16 missions to Myanmar for a short period of time to provide the country with advice on the draft  IP  law that is under formulation by MOST and on management approaches to be introduced to Myanmar’s IP office, and with training programs on examination of patent, industrial design and trademark applications. In addition, the JPO has invited 74 government-related officials from Myanmar to IP training programs in Japan. Moreover, in March 2014, the JPO and JICA jointly compiled a report, titled “Myanmar Study on Cooperation for the Establishing of Intellectual Property Office Final Report” which describes Japan’s specific proposals for the formulation of an IP system in the country, including the establishment of its own IP office, and submitted the report to the Myanmar side (for the details of JPO’s previous support for Myanmar, see the Appendix (in Japanese)(PDF:117KB) PDF File). The results of these supportive initiatives have been contributing to steadily moving the draft  IP law forward to its enactment in Myanmar.

    Myanmar will start full-scale preparations for establishing an IP office in the country. JPO will dispatch its official for a long period of time to MOST through JICA’s Expert Dispatch Program to directly support the country in developing its IP system.

    *Notes:

    • An increase in the number of member companies of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Yangon: From 53 in March 2013 to 200 in December 2014
    • The number of Japanese companies that answered “Yes” to the question regarding if they have any plan to develop business in Myanmar: Increased from 6 in FY 2012 to 16 in FY 2014

    Data source: Survey Report on Overseas Business Operations by Japanese Manufacturing Companies; Results of the JBIC FY2014 Survey: Outlook for Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (26th Annual Survey), conducted by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

    2. Details of major initiatives

    The JPO has broad experience in IP management as well as in supporting developing countries in the IP field. Based on the experience, it will broadly share with Myanmar the following knowledge required to develop an IP system in the country:

    • Formulating regulations related to an IP law, e.g., cabinet orders, ministerial ordinances, and examination guidelines;
    • Formulating organizational and operational regulations in an IP office in the country;
    • Encouraging such IP office to cooperate and collaborate with other ministries and agencies related to the IP field;
    • Providing MOST with advice concerning the fostering of officials in its IP section as well as with training programs, etc.

    3. Future actions

    The JPO will share its long-term experienced-base knowledge with Myanmar and strongly support the country in starting its own IP office. Through the effort, it aims to develop an environment in which IP rights of Japan’s user companies that develop business in Myanmar are appropriately protected and utilized.

    Release date

    February 26, 2015

    Division in charge

    International Cooperation Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, JPO

    Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
    1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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