Category : Industrial Design Application Procedures
The intellectual property system of Lao PDR was established in 1993 under the responsibility of the Department of Intellectual Property Standardization and Metrology (DIPSM), Science Technology and Environment Agency (STEA) which is a part of the Prime Minister’s Ofﬁce.
Lao PDR became a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on January 17, 1998 and acceded to the Paris Convention since October 8, 1998 and is also seeking to adhere to the other conventions and international protocols regarding the intellectual property rights.
In order to ensure these activities the Prime Minister Decree on Trademarks has been promulgated in January 18, 1995 and the latest Regulation on the registration of trademarks has been enacted in March 7, 2002 up to now more than 9,000 applications for registration of trademarks have been granted in Lao PDR.
The Prime Minister Decree on Patent, Petty Patent and Industrial Designs was promulgated on January 17, 2002 and the Regulation on the implementation of the said Decree was enacted on February 18, 2003 it is expected to be proceeded for granting patent as well as petty patent and registering of industrial design by the end of this year 2003.
The context of these Decrees cover domains based on the principle of WIPO updated model laws by the aim to harmonize the new legislation with the TRIPS Agreement.
For legislation of other ﬁelds of intellectual property including copyright and related rights, which are still in the process of drafting and it is expected all to be ﬁnalized in year 2004.
Lao PDR has now become a permanent mem- ber of the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) and has joined multifaceted cooperation on intellectual property with IP Ofﬁces of those countries particularly to join the ASEAN Common Filing System on Trademarks and Industrial Designs which will be set up and operated soon.
For registration of trademark or industrial design as well as an application for granting of patent or petty patent, the local applicant or foreigner who is allowed to invest in Lao PDR could ﬁle application directly with DIPSM and the foreign applicant should ﬁle his or her application through any Agent which is recognized by DIPSM.
With regard to the enforcement of intellectual property rights the government provides both administrative and judicial procedures that permit the effective action against infringement of intellectual property rights.
In the past most of cases of trademarks infringement have been settled by administrative procedure or by the DIPSM just only one case has been resolved by the Economic Conciliation Body under the Ministry of Justice and there is no complaint has been appealed to the court yet.
For the dispute settlement by administrative procedure the petition shall be lodged to DIPSM, which is the focal point to contact with relevant authorities such as Department of Trade, Department of customs, Economic police and others to consider data or information provided by parties concerned and the decision on the merits of a case in the enforcement proceedings are:
a) In writing and state the reasons on which the decisions are based; and
b) Made available without undue delay.
For the enforcement of intellectual property rights at the border in case of the importation of trademarks counterfeit goods a complaint should apply also to DIPSM which is going to communicate with authorities concerned to deal with the prompt investigation. After consideration DIPSM shall inform the complainer within a reasonable period whether the petition was accepted and, if so, the period for which the customs administration will take action for Suspension or release of such goods into free circulation.
Of course the defendant has the right to show necessary evidences to DIPSM to be reconsidered or to appeal to the Economic Reconciliation Body for resolution settlement.
In an effort to show Laos’s determination to combat piracy, Lao Authorities, on June 9, 2003, destroyed 4,300 cases (5 containers) of fake cigarettes worth more than 600 thousand US dollars, in Savannakhet Province at the border checkpoint between Laos-Vietnam. The cigarettes claiming to be transited through Laos to a third country.
Category : Overview