Category Archives: FAQs

Trademark, Patent, or Copyright?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.  A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Must all marks be registered?  No, but federal registration has several advantages, including a notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.

A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

The Trademark Operation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles trademarks only.  For information on patents, please visit Patents or contact 800-786-9199.  For information on copyrights, please contact the U.S. Copyright Office (a division of the Library of Congress).

Trademark Licence recordal in Laos

Question: We would like to know whether Laos has a system of trademark registration and what are the steps and requirements to protect a Trademark in Laos. If trademark registration is available in Laos, what is the length of protection/registration granted? We would also like to know whether there is a system of recording licence agreements for Laos trade marks on the Laos Trade Mark Register (if applicable) and if so, what is the legal effect of recording licences on the Laos Trade Mark Register.  Conversely, what is the legal effect if the licence is not recorded on the Laos Trade Mark Registe?

Answer: There is a system of trademark registration in Laos.  In order to protect a trademark in Laos, it is required to file application for registration of the trademark at the Lao DIP.

The prevailing laws of Laos have no provision requiring license agreements and/or recordal thereof. However, according to Article 6 of the Decree 06/PM on Trademarks, prior to the use of a registered trademark by a person/entity other than the trademark owner, such person/entity must have the consent of the owner and notify the Science, Technology and Environment Organization (STEO) in advance. So, in case the consent is given under a license, the notifying of such license must be made under the recordal procedure at the STEO, subject to the requirements as follows:

– License Agreement, notarized,

– Power of Attorney of the Licensor and/or Licensee, notarized, and

– Copy of trademark certificate.

The license agreement will be effective as agreed by the parties. The STEO will only record the license agreement with the terms and conditions thereof.  The Lao authorities do not prohibit any restrictions since the authorities will only acknowledge the content of the License Agreement. The scope and limitation of the rights given to the licensee will solely depend on what the 2 parties agreed with.





What are the relevant courts for administrative IPR enforcement in Laos?

–  The People’s Courts at the provincial level
–  The Appeal Courts
–  The Supreme People’s Court

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