Patent Law of Laos
The patent/petty patent protection in Laos is provided under the
Decree of the Prime Minister on Trademarks No01/PM, January 17th 2002
Regulation on the Implementation of Decree on Patent, Petty Patent and Industrial Designs, No. 322/STEA-PMO, February 18, 2003
Enacted: 01September 2004
* In October 1998, Lao PDR has officially become the member of the Paris Convention.
* Power of Attorney (POA) - Notarized
* Inventorship Deed of Assignment - notarized & required when applicant and inventor is not the same
* English patent specification
* Patent specification in Lao Language required within 90 days from the filing date.
Patent Registration Procedure in Laos
The patent application is filed at the Department of Intellectual Property of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos. (Laos DIP)
* Twelve  months counted from the earliest priority date is limited to claim the priority on the basis of the conventional patent application under Paris Convention.
* Thirty  months from the earliest priority date claimed in PCT application is limited to enter the national phase under PCT Article 22 or PCT Article 39.
An application for patent/petty patent in Laos shall be conducted the formality examination and substantive examination with the alternate publication.
The examination as to formalities will be commenced no later than three  months from the filing date and must be completed no later than twelve  months from the filing date.
Time limit to make the response to the Office Action is sixty  days counted from the issued date of the notice.
If the application is considered formality accepted, it will be published in the official journal in the 19th month counted from the filing date or the priority date.
* The national phase of PCT application will be published within two  months from the acceptance date.
The Lao Patent Office itself has no facilities to conduct the substantive examination of the invention or device, at present, and the substantive examination result will be followed to the result which is made by any foreign Patent Office for its corresponding application.
In case the applicant cannot submit the foreign examination results, the Lao patent office will request the WIPO to take the substantive examination for the application upon the applicant’s request which is filed within thirty two  months for the patent application and twenty four  months for the petty patent application from the filling date or priority date (if any).
Time limit to make the response to the Office Action is three  months counted from the issued date of the notice.
The whole duration for the grant and publication of Patent certificate is from 3 to 4 years months from the filing date.
Term of protection of patent is twenty  years from the filing date. While term of protection of petty patent is ten  years from the filing date.
The effective date is from the filing date, so the 1st annuity is required at the time of filing.
* A six-month grace period is allowed for the late payment of the annual fee, with an additional surcharge.
The searches will the Registar take into account in determining patentability are the following:
Invention that fit in the definition of invention in Lao PDR
Others : include internal grounds of validity/invalidity
Trademark Law in Laos
Legal basis is the new Law on Intellectual Property No. 38/NA, dated November 15, 2017 which replaced the amended Law on Intellectual Property No. 01/NA of December 20, 2011 and the Decree of the Prime Minister on Trademarks, No. 06/PM, effective January 18, 1995.
Lao PDR, uses the First-to-File system. (i.e. Prior use shall not be taken into account). This means, two applicants apply to register for the same mark, the first application that receives the filling number will be granted the priority. All applications have to be sent and examined by the Lao DIP.
Laos is a party to the following conventions, treaties and agreements: Paris Convention, , WIPO Convention, WTO TRIPS Agreement, and Madrid Protocol. Although not a signatory, Laos applies the Nice Agreement for classification of goods and services.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
Nice classification, 11th edition. Multiple-class application is acceptable.
Laos adopts the 1 - 45 Nice Classification of Goods and Services established by the Nice Agreement (1957) which groups together similar goods and services. Under the Classification, goods and services are divided into 45 classes and class heading can be used as specifications. There is no limitation to the number of goods items in one class.
Laos Trademark Registration Procedure
Conduct the search for the proposed trademark(s)
Trademark Application is to be submitted at Lao Department of Intellectual Property (Lao DIP)
Lao Trademark Officer shall provide the Filing Number and Filing Date.
The trademark shall be examined by the Lao Trademark Officer
Applicants are examined in order of the filing numbers. Estimated Time: vary considerably in accordance to the number of applications lodged at any given time with the Lao DIP (average expected time: 1 month up to 6 months).
If the application meets all requirements, it will be accepted for registration.
If the application is objected, Lao DIP shall provide a report which shall outline requirements that need to be addressed.
The registered trademark will be published in the Official Trademark Gazette of Laos. The trademark is open for opposition.
National Opposition Period
60 days from the publication in the official gazette.
The trademark is in the pending for granting registration and then the certificate then will be issued to the successful applicant.
Total expected time frame: 9 months up to 12 months from the date of receiving the Filing number.
The term of protection of trademarks shall be 10 years from the filing date. The registration of the mark may be renewed for further periods of 10 years, and renewal fees can be paid during the 12-month period preceding the date of expiry and for a 6-month grace period after the date of expiry. Once the expiry date has passed, the trade mark will no longer have the benefit of any rights arising from registration.
Remarks about the Registration Process in Laos
The application is filed at the Department of Intellectual Property- Ministry of Technology and Science.
The application process includes formality examination, publication of the application of the official industrial property gazette for opposition Purpose, substantive examination and publication in the official industrial property Gazette after the trademark is registered in Laos.
Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the official gazette prior to Registration.