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using a false trademark, the charge against him being that he sold oil which was not oil manufactured by the Burma Oil Company in second-hand tins of that company’s mark without obliterating the Company’s trademark on the tins, and he was both times acquitted. On the company by their agent lodging a fresh complaint alleging the commission of a fresh offence by the accused, held, that the complaint was barred by section 15 of the Merchandise Marks Act. Although the interpretation that each sale of oil by the accused in the Company’s tins being a fresh offence gives a new starting point for calculating limitation is the most ordinary one, yet the intention of the legislature will be frustrated if it is held that the owner of a trademark can stand by for several years while his trademark is being infringed continuously and then bring a criminal complaint in respect of some recent instance in which there has been an infringement. To interpret the section in that way would reduce its provision to a nullity, for it would entirely remove the bar of limitation except in cases where the series of infringement has actually ceased.”

And secondly it was followed in the case of Abdul Majid Vs. King Emperor*; it was held:

“The period limited by section 15 of Merchandise Marks Act for a prosecution under section 14 is to be computed from the date of the particular infringement alleged against the accused, not from the date of any other alleged infringement by other persons. The owner of a trademark cannot stand by for several years while his trademark is being infringed continuously and then bring a criminal compliant in respect of some recent infringement.”

Having discussed about the Act up to this length, one can observe that this Act, the Sea Customs Act and the Penal Code are interrelated each other. We must move to the next.

 (e) The Registration Act

Like other Acts above it was enacted as India Act No. 16 of 1908 and seemed to be enforceable from the date of 1st January 1909. It is still enforceable in our country. In the absence of Trade Mark Act it is too questionable for parties to establish their rights especially in computing the commencing date of using their respective marks which are in dispute, because it is the settled Law that a trader or a manufacturer produces goods attached with a distinctive trademark acquires the rights in property since the time of initial using.

Though there hasn’t any statutory provision as to registration of trademarks per se in Myanmar an established practice has been developed for the evidentiary assertion of the rights of trademark ownership. TradeMarks might have formerly been registered according to Excise Commissioner’s Notification (Burma) No.40, dated 30th January 1924 under section 18 clause (f) of the Registration Act. It was amended later and since the day of 28th April 1962, the following has been substituted as Direction 13 of the Burma (Myanmar) Registration of Deeds, which reads:

“ Trade Marks may be registered under section 18 (f) of the Registration Act, in Register Book 4 by means of a declaration for each trademark. The declaration shall contain the name of the Company, individual or firm represented in a special or particular manner and the signature of the applicant for registration or some predecessor in his business. A trademark should have one or more invented words and may be registered in respect of particular goods or classes of goods.

Registering officers should refuse registration if the mark is likely to be on moral or legal grounds objectionable or likely to hurt the religious susceptibilities of any class of citizens of Burma (Myanmar). Registration should for example, be refused where the document lends itself to use as an instrument of fraud, or is obscure. Colourable imitation of a currency note should also be refused for registration. And under no

* vide 11.


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