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IP Background

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(g) The Burma Patents & Designs Act
The Burma Patents & Designs (Emergency Provisions) Act

Both Acts were enacted as Burma Act No.5 of 1945 and Burma Act No.1 of 1946. Preamble in 1945 Act states: " Whereas it is expedient to make legislative provision for the protection of inventions and designs. Relatively it will be more essential for the present age than the time it was passed."

The interesting point we find in 1945 Act is that, though section 1 (2) of that Act provides: " It shall come into force on such date as the President of the Union may, by notification, direct." , in the footnote it is mentioned that the Act was published in Commerce and Supplies Department Notification No. 8, dated the 3rd August 1945 and republished in Burma Gazettee 1946, Part 1, page 136, this Act has not yet been brought into force. But it came into effect later that date untill it was repealed on the 31st day of March 1993 as second repealment with law No. 4/93 by the present government.

There had been matters relating to the provisions of 1945 Act adjudicated by the then highest judicature of our country.

In the case of Maung Sein Bros Vs. The Burma Plastic Moulders 40, it was held: " In a suit for declaration of ownership of a certain design which has been registered by the plaintiffs and for an injunction to restrain the defendant from using a similar design it open to the defendants to raise as a defense to the plaintiff’s suit that the plaintiff’s design was neither new nor original."

It was held only on the matter of defense, but as a whole for both parties was held 41: " Where the trial judge had held that the plaintiff’s comb which had a ‘toot kwet’ design on the base was new and original, and therefore should be protected. Among the Burmese people the ‘toot kwet’ (diamond cut or chiselled pattern) is a favourite design for bangles, combs and other articles of jewellary. The design on the plaintiff’s comb is nothing more than a variation of the said ‘toot kwet’ design."

ORBITER: " The fact that the defendant-appellant’s combs are almost identical in shape and design may be relevant in a suit for declaration of ownership of a design."

As we discussed before, having repealed the Patents & Designs Act of 1945, the only Law relating to patents and designs still in force is the Burma Patents and Designs (Emergency provisions) Act 1946. It has been enforceable retrospectively due to section 1(2) of this Act since 1st July 1941. Though section 2 of this Act provides:

"Until the Burma Patents and Designs Act, 1945 comes into operation, the India Patents and Designs Act 1911, shall continue to have effect in Burma, as if, notwithstanding the separation of India and Burma, Burma had continued to be a part of India and accordingly references in that Act to the Advocate-General, the High Court and to the District Court, shall be deemed to include references to the Attorney-General of the Union of Burma, the High Court and the District Courts in the Union of Burma and the President of the Union of Burma shall be regarded as one of the authorities to whom certain documents are to be sent under section 72 of that Act ." nothing has been applicable since the repealment of substantive Act of 1945.

40 1962 Burma Law Reports. P.297 (Chief Court)
41 1964 Burma Law Reports. P. 32 (Chief Court)

 

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