When filing trademark in Laos, the applicant can choose to file a trademark in a form of single-class application or multi-class application. There are no restrictions on the number of goods and/or services that can be included in each class.
Trademark application in Laos have to be filed to Department of Intellectual Property (DIP), Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Laos.
Below are some remarkable notes when filing trademark in Laos.
1. First-to-file rule
Laos also follows the first-to-file rule. In particular, if two identical or confusingly similar trademarks of the same kind are filed with the DIP, the trademark with the earlier filing date will be given priority. As a result, if you intend to use the mark, you should file a trademark application in Laos as soon as feasible.
2. Claiming priority right
Laos officially acceded to Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property on October 08, 1998 and became a member of the Paris Union, founded by the Paris Convention. Thus, under Article 4 of the Paris Convention, it is possible to claim the priority right for a consequent application in Laos if it is filed within six months of the application’s filing date in the country of origin.
Under the general rule in Laos, for claiming priority right, all information of the consequent application must be unified with those recorded in the priority document. However, if the priority application includes the items of goods/services in the class heading, general items and items of goods/services marked with an asterisk, it is advisable to clarify such items with the specific items in order to avoid any possible office action. Besides, please be noted that the scope of goods/services in the application cannot exceed the prior application but limitation or reduction is allowed.
For filing trademark in Laos claiming priority, a certified true copy of the priority application as well as its English translation are required. Please be noted that scanned copy of priority document is acceptable at the time of filing, the original one must be submitted within one month later.
3. Conducting a full similarity search before filing trademark in Laos
It is not mandatory to conduct a trademark search prior to filing trademark in Laos. However, because of the benefits, it is suggested that you persevere with this step. You should do a full similarity search to see if any trademarks that are identical or similar to yours have previously been registered or applied for. Then, depending on the search report, you can select the best options for obtaining a registration from the DIP. While doing a trademark search before to filing incurs an additional price, it nevertheless saves the applicant money and time in the long run.
For enabling us to conduct the search and provide more precise comments and analysis on registrability in our Search Report, kindly provide us with:
- Sample of mark;
- The concentrated and typical specification of goods/services, which the search requester may apply for the searching mark;
- The name of the search requester, who may have already owned another earlier identical/similar trademark application or registration, if possible.
- Transliteration and meaning of Chinese/Korean/Japanese…characters (If any).
You can see more details about trademark search in Cambodia in this article
4. Disclaimer at the time of filing trademark in Laos
Elements of a mark that are descriptive words or general terms, such as describing the qualities or attributes of the goods or services, will not be separately protected under Laos’ present IP Law. Therefore, to avoid rejection and additional costs, the applicant should specify at the time of filing trademark in Laos that he does not claim rights to a portion of a mark other than in the form shown in the application, and that he wants the mark to be protected as a whole.
5. Requirements for filing trademark in Laos
When filing a trademark in Laos, the following documents are required:
(i). A Notarized bilingual Power of Attorney (POA). A scanned copy of the POA is accepted at the time of filing, but the original one must be submitted to the DIP within one month later.
Under current practice in Laos, it is not expressly required the signature of legal representative person of applicant and the notarization of the Laotian page in the POA. Please therefore let the Laotian page blank if under your jurisdiction, it is not available.
(ii). A specimen of the trademark in .JPEG file with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi;
(iii). Specification goods and/or services. Laos has adopted the Nice Classification of Goods and Services, which consists 45 classes. The goods/services for which registration must be classified according to the current version of the Nice Classification at the time of the filing trademark application. Please also note that:
- The item of goods/services in general meanings or item in the class headings as well is not acceptable;
- Any item of goods/services listed in Alphabet and under specific code described in the Nice Classification will be accepted smoothly in the examination as to form process;
- The “GENERAL REMARKS” in the Nice Agreement and other points of view of Examiners will be applied for the examination in the event that the goods/services are not listed under the specific code described in the Nice Classification.
More information about trademark practice in Laos can be found HERE.
In case you require more information or require advice on Intellectual Property right in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia as well as other IP matters, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: email@example.com.