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Laos Trademark Registration
TRADEMARK LAW OF LAOS
Laos is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since January 1995, of the Paris Convention for Protection of Industrial Property since October 1998 and of the PCT (Patent) since June 2006. Regarding the IPR matters, Cambodia has issued the following legal documents which are effective in Laos:
Decree of the Prime Minister on Trademarks No. 06/PM dated January 18, 1995;
Decree of the Prime Minister on Patents, Industrial Design and Utility Models on January 2002; and
Implementation Regulations of the Decree on Patents, Industrial Designs and Utility Models on February 2003.
Trademark and other subjects of industrial property, such as patent, industrial design, utility solution, etc. can be filed and protected now in the country. Laos has adopted the “first to file” system of registration.
However, the Intellectual Property Law of Laos regulates cases that are not eligible for registration, such as where:
the trademark is not able to be distinguished from other products, goods or services of individual or organisation is submitted;
the content of trademark may serve to designate the kind, quality, quantity, intended purpose, value, place of origin of the goods, or the time of production, or of signs that have become customary in the current language or in the good faith and established practices of the trade in Laos;
the trademark is the cause of misleading the public or trade circles in which the trademark is used or is of a fraudulent nature;
the trademark is identical or similar to a well-known trademark for the same or related goods or services;
the trademark is opposed to national security, social order, culture and the good traditions of the nation;
the content of the trademark may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons living or dead or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute;
the trademark may lead to a likelihood of confusion as to the source of the goods or services or falsely suggest an association with the registered mark or well-known mark or trade name, as appropriate;
the trademark that consists of, or incorporates, a geographical indication that identifies a place other than the true origin of the goods; and
the trademark that consists of, or contains, without authorisation images of cultural symbols or historical monuments, or the name, image, or likeness of a national hero or a leader, or the trademark is in opposition with the nation’s traditions.
The application shall be accepted if it meets all the following conditions:
It could be seen in the form of words, a drawing, letter, numeral, picture, photograph, person’s name, signature, figure and group of colours or combinations of any of the aforementioned items; and distinct from the others.
It may not be similar to another trademark already registered by another applicant.
TERM OF PROTECTION
Under Laos’ Intellectual Property Law, the exclusive rights certification of trademark takes effect within 10 years and can be extended unlimited times, each time by 10 years. If the trademark has not been used for five continuous years its certification may be suspended or cancelled upon the request of others.
PROCEDURE OF REGISTRATION
The following documents should be prepared and provided for registration of trademark:
a request for registration of trademark (in compliance with an application form from the Registry Office);
power of attorney (if the application is filed through an agent or attorney);
specimens of trademark or service mark;
a description of goods. If the application relates to a collective mark or certification mark, the application shall indicate and include a description of the way the mark is to be used;
priority document (if priority right is claimed); and
receipt for payment of official fees.
In the case of a foreign applicant, his or her application may be filed in the Laotian language or the English language. However, the English application or English document must be supplied with a translation into the Laotian language within 90 days of the filing date. This translation must be certified to be an accurate translation.
Within six months from the filing date of the application for trademark registration or the date the Registry Unit confirms the filing number and date, the Registry Unit will undertake a substantial examination, issue the certificate of registration, record the mark on the Trademark Registry and publish the registered mark in the Official Trademark Gazette.
After examination procedures, in the case the application is accepted, the Ministry of Science and Technology will grant the trademark registration certificate, enter the registration in the register and publish the registration in the official industrial property gazette.
Under the Intellectual Property Law of Laos, if the owner of the trademark does not use it continuously for five years in Laos or its use by the owner has not been in good faith, the third party shall have right to request the Ministry of Science and Technology to cancel the registration of the trademark on grounds of non-use. The owner can then file explanatory documents to justify the non-use of the trademark.
Contact us to know more about the procedures to register your brand in Laos
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