Laos Implements Decision Detailing Trademark Registration Process Under Its IP Law.
Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Laos - Intellectual Property
21 February, 2020
The Decision on Trademarks and Trade Names No. 2822/MOST, dated December 7, 2019, was published in January and took effect on February 11, 2020.
The decision brings more clarity as well as extra burden to the mark registration process under the amended Law on Intellectual Property No. 38/NA dated November 15, 2017 (“IP Law”).
Key procedural items laid out in the decision include the following:
New requirement for power of attorney (POA). Because trademark owners based abroad must use a local representative to register their trademarks in Laos, a POA is necessary to carry out the registration process. The decision requires trademark owners to update their standing power of attorney (POA) with their local IP representative if the POA does not mention a time period for validity (in which case it would now be considered valid for one transaction only). This is a change from previous regulations and practices, which allowed POAs to stand in perpetuity, or until revoked or superseded.
Official specifications for service marks and non-traditional marks. The decision formally recognizes service marks, which were already being accepted in practice but had not been clearly indicated in legislation. As for non-traditional marks, the decision specifies the requirements for registering 3D marks or moving pictures as trademarks.
Renewal. Renewal of a trademark is now possible starting from six months before the end of its term (a change from the previous window of one year).
Assignment and authorization to use a trademark. Transfer of rights from one entity to another—or authorization to use a trademark (such as a license or franchise agreement)—must first be registered with the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) in order to be enforceable in the country with the local authorities.
For further information, please contact:
Sukontip Jitmongkolthong, Partner, Tilleke & Gibbins