Laos’s IP Laws went through a lot of amendments. That means you’ll need to know the changes and adapt to them. The good news is that the country’s IP laws use WIPO as their model, as well as the requirements of the TRIPS Agreement.
If you’re looking to Laos patent application for your products, you need to know what to expect first. Read on and find out more.
You need to apply to the Department of Intellectual Property. It’s under Laos’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). An alternative is to go through an international IP registration procedure that Laos participates in.
You can apply using either English or Lao, but choosing the latter means you need to submit a Lao translation. It needs a certification of correctness, and the deadline is within 90 days. If you apply outside the country, you need someone from Laos to act as your representative.
Here are the things you need to include in your patent application:
For non-native applicants, you need a Power of Attorney. You need to include the agent’s name and address within the country. If you applied for the same patent before, you need to submit information about it.
Laos uses the first-to-file system. That means you will get the patent if you have the earliest priority date if you applied to another member country of the Paris Convention. You have a priority period of 12 months that you can use as the priority date when applying in Laos.
After completing your requirements, the patent office will do a substantive examination of your patent application. They will check whether it’s patentable, basing it from a search of technical knowledge already existing in their database. This will often happen within 32 months from the date of patent application. If it meets the requirements set by MOST, the office will give you a patent certificate.
After filing your application, it will have a 20-year period of protection after getting a grant. For petty patents, it will only last about 10 years. To maintain your patent, you need to pay an annual maintenance fee.
Take note, the IP Law in Laos doesn’t set out the annual fees. Regardless, it’s expected to establish the maintenance fees after its promulgation.
It’s important to learn the changes in Laos’s IP laws before you apply. With this guide, you’re more informed on how to proceed with your patent application. It’s invaluable if you want to save both time and money.
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