The Intellectual Property Law in Laos stipulated that “One registration application is valid for only one trademark but may apply to more than one class of goods or services as per the international classifications”. This means that you are possible to file a trademark application in Laos in a form of single-class application or multi-class. The question is that which choice is better?
In this article, we would like to present a few highlights about the advantages and disadvantages of these options for your reference.
1. What is the difference between a single-class and a multi-class trademark application in Laos?
A single-class trademark application means that the applicant can file one application to cover goods and/or services in one class only. Meanwhile, a multi-class trademark application may cover goods and/or services in more than one class. There are no restrictions on the number of goods and/or services that can be included in each class. Previously, the Department of Intellectual Property of Laos (DIP) only accepted single-class applications. This meant that if an individual or organization wished to register one trademark in Laos in multiple classes, they would have to file separate single-class applications for each class.
On December 07, 2015, the Government of the Lao PDR deposited with the Director General of WIPO its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol. In order to comply with the provisions of the Madrid Protocol, the DIP, Ministry of Science and Technology of Laos issued Notice No.57/MOST.DIP. Accordingly, as from February 01, 2016, multiple-class trademark application became available for the first time in Laos. Since then, the DIP has allowed trademark registration not only in a single-class application but also in a multi-class application.
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a multi-class trademark application in Laos?
A multi-class trademark application in Laos, like everything else, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A multi-class application is administratively more efficient than single-class applications. The reason for this is that a multiple class application only has one application number, registration number, and registration date. It is also required one copy of relevant attachments when filing trademark application. As a result, a multi-class application will aid in the saving and simplification of trademark administration management, as well as make statistics and tracking of possible proceedings easier after registration.
Is there any advantage to filing a multi-class trademark application in Laos in terms of fees? The answer is yes. In accordance with existing regulations in Laos, official fees for filing new trademark applications are calculated per class. There is reduction for filing additional classes in the same application. Especially, the official fees are significantly reduced when performing procedures that may arise after the multi-class application is approved, for example recordation of change, assignment, license, renewal… This is because of the official fees are calculated “per application”, rather than “per class”. Furthermore, there is still possibility of reduction of attorney fees for each further class.
Even so, there are several disadvantages to multi-class trademark applications in Laos. In comparison to single-class applications, multi-class applications typically take longer to examine. In addition, if the multi-application is partially refused or opposed, the process of entire application will be delayed due to waiting for applicant’s response and further examination.
A multi-class trademark application can also be separated into two or more applications after filing, according to Laos’ current legislation. This procedure, however, must be completed prior to the issuing of the trademark registration certificate, or refusal, or cancellation. The applicant must pay additional official fees and possible attorney fees, if the multi-class application meets the requirements to be separated. Whereas, when a multi-class application is partially refused, the desire to divide it frequently arises.
3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a single-class trademark application in Laos?
In general, advantages of multi-class applications will be disadvantages to single-class applications and vice versa. Examination of a single-class trademark application is less time-consuming than a multi-class trademark application. Objections from the DIP in single-class application may not affect to the registration of other classes. Each separate application, however, required one copy of relevant attachments. Therefore, additional preparation time and office expenditures will be incurred. Single-class applications will also require more administrative works to manage portfolios of trademark owners.
You can file a single-class or a multi-class trademark application in Laos. Each solution has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The applicant can choose between a single-class or multi-class application, depending on the brand registration and development strategy as well as trademark protection in Laos.
Should you have any further questions regarding trademark in Laos, please do not hesitate to contact us via our email address: firstname.lastname@example.org