FAQs – TM in LAOS

What is a trademark under The IP Law of Laos?

According to Article 3.10 of The IP Law of Laos, a "trademark" is a mark to use with goods or services as
well as to distinguish between these goods or services and other goods or services.


What is a collective trademark under The IP Law of Laos?

According to Article 3.11 of The IP Law of Laos, a "collective trademark" is a trademark used by affiliated
enterprises or members of an association, cooperative, state or private organization or a group of
individuals.


What is a certification mark under The IP Law of Laos?

According to Article 3.12 of The IP Law of Laos, a "certification mark" is a trademark, which the owner
has permitted the use of by individuals, legal entities or organizations for use with their goods or
services in order to certify the characteristic, which relates to the origin, raw materials and production
methods of the goods or methods of services supply, type, quality, safety or other characteristics of the
goods or services.


What is a well known mark under The IP Law of Laos?

According to Article 3.13 of The IP Law of Laos, a "well known mark" is a trademark, which is widely
recognized by the relevant sector within the territory of the Lao PDR, including where such knowledge is
a result of promotion of the trade mark.


What is a trade name under The IP Law of Laos?

According to Article 3.14 of The IP Law of Laos, "trade name" means the name of an enterprise used in
business to identify the enterprise.


Where to file a trademark application in Laos?

All trademarks should be applied for and registered with the Lao Department of Intellectual Property
(Hereinafter Lao DIP).


Can foreign trademark applicant directly apply for the trademark registration before the DIP of
Laos?

No, he can not. According to Article 27 of Lao IP Law, any individual, legal entity or organization residing
in a foreign country, who wishes to apply for the trademark registration, shall appoint an authorized
representative in the Lao PDR. The applicant without business premises or residence in the Lao PDR shall
appoint an authorized representative in the Lao PDR to carry out transactions related to his trademark
in the Lao PDR. A Laotian authorized representative must be appointed by the applicant, through a
Power of Attorney (POA), to act on the applicant’s behalf in filing and prosecuting his trademarks in
Laos. The POA must be notarized, and can be submitted on filing or within a period of 02 months from
the filing date.


Can a Laos trademark application cover multi classes?

Yes, it can. As of February 01, 2016, single trademark application covering multi-classes is accepted with
the provision that the official filing fee must be paid for each class.


In which cases a mark is considered ineligible for trademark registration under the The IP Law of
Laos?

According to Article 23 of The IP Law of Laos, the following marks shall be ineligible for trademark
registration:
– the mark that does not distinguish the goods or services of the applicant from those of another
individual, legal entity or organization;
– the mark that consists exclusively of signs or indications which may serve, in trade, 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 the Lao PDR;
– the mark that is of such a nature as to deceive or mislead the public or trade circles in which the mark
is used or is of a fraudulent nature;
– the mark that consists of or comprises indications that, when used in the course of trade, is liable to
mislead the public as to the origin, nature, the manufacturing process, the characteristics, the suitability
for their purpose, or the quantity, of the goods or services;
– the mark that consists of or contains without authorization from the relevant governmental entity,
armorial bearings, flags, or other national emblems, and official signs, hallmarks, abbreviations or full
names of towns, municipalities, provinces or capital of the Lao PDR or foreign countries;
– the mark that consists of or contains, without authorization from the relevant state or international
organization, an emblem of an international organization or symbols created by international
conventions, official seals or symbols of state or international organizations;
– the mark that consists of or contains, without authorization, the name, image, or likeness of a living
person;
– the mark that consists of or contains, without authorization images of cultural symbols or historical
monuments, or the name, image, or likeness of a national hero or a leader, or the mark would be
offensive or contrary to the fine traditions of the nation;
– the mark that is identical, or similar to trademarks already registered for the same, similar, or related
goods or services;
– the mark that is identical, or similar to a well-known mark for the same, similar or related goods or
services;
– the mark that is identical, or similar to a trade name for a business that provides the same, similar, or
related goods and services;

– the above-mentioned mark that would 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 mark that consists of or incorporates a geographical indication which identifies a place other than
the true origin of the goods;
– the mark that consists of or incorporates a geographical indication which, although literally true as to
the territory, region or locality in which the goods originate, falsely represents to the public that the
goods originate in another territory;
– the mark consists of or contains matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with
persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or
disrepute;
– the mark is of such a nature as to create confusion with the establishment, the goods, or the industrial
or commercial activities, of a competitor;
– the mark is of such a nature that its use in the course of trade would discredit the establishment, the
goods, or the industrial or commercial activities, of a competitor;
– the mark is contrary to national security, social order, culture and the fine traditions of the nation.


What happen if a Laos trademark application is deemed to be invalidly registered?

Within 6 months starting 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 the substantive
examination. In case the application for trademark registration is rejected, the Registry Unit will notify
in writing the applicant and authorizes applicant to file arguments and evidence in relation to the
rejection with the Registry Unit within 90 days from the date of the rejection notice.


How long does it take from the filing date until a trademark registration certificate is granted at
the DIP of Laos?

It would take a period of 12-18 months from the filing date to obtain a certificate of trademark
registration in Laos.


How the “non-use” of trademark is defined under the IP Law of Laos?

A non-use of trademark is following cases:
– the trademark has not been used for a consecutive period of five years;
– the trademark has been used merely token use or such use not been in good faith by the owner.
Any individual, legal entity or organization may request to the Ministry of Science and Technology to
cancel the registration of a trademark on the ground of non-use. In any cancellation proceeding, the
owner shall be entitled to present reasons justifying the non-use of the trademark. Obstacles to such
use arising independently of the will of the owner shall be recognized as valid reasons for non-use.


How to proceed with the renewal procedure for trademark in Laos?

According to Article 51 of the The IP Law of Laos, the trademark registration certificate is valid for ten
years from the filing date of application for registration and may be renewed for consecutive periods of
ten years. The renewal mark application may be submitted to the Lao DIP within six months prior to the
expiry of the registration. A grace period of another six months is available in case the Trademark
owner fails to submit the renewal mark application within six month preceding the expiry of the
registration.


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