April 27, 2023

Alterations to intellectual property law and systems worldwide


The Intellectual Property Office of Monaco has implemented a new IP fee schedule concerning patent annuity payments, with the amendments entering into force as of April 1, 2023.

As per the amendments, each annuity fee from the 5th to the 20th year have increased, whilst years 1 to 4 have remained unchanged.

The annuity fees for years 5 to 8 have each risen by 5 EUR respectively, with the fee for the 5th year inflating by approx. 6% from 90 EUR to 95 EUR and the 8th year by approx. 3% from 145 EUR to 150 EUR. The fees in relation to years 9 to 11 have increased by 10 EUR respectively, with the 9th year having risen from 155 EUR to 165 EUR, comprising an approx. inflation of 6%.

Moreover, years 12 to 14 have increased by 15 EUR respectively, whilst years 15 to 20 have increased by 20 EUR respectively. As such, the 15th year has risen by approx. 6% from 350 EUR to 370 EUR, whilst the 20th year has inflated by approx. 5% from 430 EUR to 450 EUR.

The alterations to the patent annuity fees in relation to Monaco are in line with the typical yearly adjustment to the patent fee schedule for the country.


The Department of Intellectual Property of Myanmar enacted a new trademark law on April 1, 2023, having initially passed the legislation on January 30, 2019.

The new Act is being implemented in stages, with the first "soft opening" period having commenced on October 1, 2020. During this stage, only trademarks that have been registered and/or have been in use are able to be filed with the IPO for protection.

With the second phase of the introduction of the new legislation underway, having been implemented on April 1, 2023, applicants are now required to submit a notarised Appointment of Representative form alongside payment of the official fee at the time of filing an application under the new electronic system.

All marks which have been filed during the period of the soft opening are given a common filing date of the first day of the grand opening of the new system, which is presently expected to occur on April 26, 2023. New trademarks will be eligible for filing thereafter, and will receive a filing date corresponding to the submission date of the completed application, and payment of the stipulated fees.

Complementing the recently introduced legislation, a schedule of official fees was implemented as of April 1, 2023. As such, the fee for a trademark application now constitutes 150,000 MMK, whilst the cost for the renewal of a trademark is set at 300,000 MMK.

The recent and gradual introduction of the new trademark system in Myanmar, inclusive of legislation and fees, demonstrates significant strides in modernisation of the country's approach to intellectual property matters, and is hoped to provide for a strong legal basis on which people can protect their IP in the jurisdiction.

Madrid System

The Madrid System has seen the introduction of certain amendments to aspects of the application process for trademarks, with the alterations having entered into force as of February 1, 2023.

Among the most notable changes, the Madrid System now allows for the submission of non-traditional marks such as multimedia, motion, and sound trademarks. As such, the requirement of graphical representation has been abolished, meaning it will now be possible for applicants to file for a sound mark, for example, without being obliged to submit a visual representation of the same.

These changes mean that applicants of Contracting Parties to the System will be able to file for non-traditional trademarks so long as the national law of the state allows for such marks. On the other hand, contracting states which do not yet possess the relevant national law allowing for non-traditional marks are not obligated to accept applications for the same.

Moreover, applicants are no longer required to provide a second representation of a mark in the instance that the color of a mark is a distinctive feature. Previously, a second representation of the mark was needed if the basic mark was in black and white, and the color of a mark was claimed as a distinctive feature in the international application. Now, however, only the color representation of the mark is required.

Further, all requests to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) must now be sent electronically via the contact online platform or the e-Madrid online service.

Additionally, The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has implemented a new payment system with regard to the designation of the JPO under the Madrid System.

As such, as of April 1, 2023, the relevant fees with respect to Madrid filings designating Japan are payable only at the time of filing in the form of a lump-sum payment. Previously, such fees were able to be paid in two parts.

Furthermore, the JPO will henceforth send certified copies of a registration decision to each holder of an international registration, irrespective of whether a local representative in Japan has been appointed.


February 6, 2023 marked the occasion of Mauritius depositing its instrument of accession to both the Madrid Protocol, and the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Both the Protocol and the Act will enter into force with respect to Mauritius 3 months thereafter on May 6, 2023. After this date, Mauritian applicants will be able to file applications via the Madrid and/or Hague System covering any or all of the contracting states to the respective system, whilst international applicants will be afforded the opportunity to designate Mauritius in their Madrid/Hague filings.

The accession to not only one, but two international IP systems signifies a pivotal step towards a more global outlook on IP cooperation for the country and will undoubtedly benefit many IP applicants.


As of April 1, 2023, the Slovak Industrial Property Office introduced a fast track registration procedure in relation to utility model applications in the country. This expedited procedure is set to reduce the time from the submission of a utility model application to its registration.

A pilot programme of the fast track procedure was introduced by the Slovak IPO in 2021, leading to a guarantee that a patent could be obtained within 24 months.

The most recent implementation of the accelerated procedure allows for utility model applications that meet the fast-track conditions to be published within three months of the submission of the application. If no objections are filed against the registration of the utility model, it will then be entered into the register within 6 months, a significant reduction from the previous 9-month period.

Applicants are not required to apply for the fast-track procedure, with the process automatically ensuing for those utility model applications which meet the required conditions.


In response to the ongoing circumstances surrounding the conflict in Ukraine, extensions of time regarding matters of intellectual property before the EUIPO have been implemented with respect to the country.

As such, all time limits expiring between April 3, 2023 and June 4, 2023, have been extended until June, 2023.

The time extensions are available to all parties in proceedings before the Office who reside or have a registered office in Ukraine, and are hoped to provide a reasonable opportunity for parties to respond to deadlines and actions before the Office.

Author: Danielle Carvey