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Patent registration in Laos

Patent registration in Laos is increasingly attracting the attention of inventors and businesses due to the country’s economic development potential and the increasingly complete intellectual property legal system. The number of patent applications in Laos has steadily increased in recent years. In 2022, DIP received more than 200 patent applications, a 15% increase compared to 2021. The sectors with the most patent applications include healthcare, agriculture, and information technology. Patents help businesses create new, innovative and unique products and services, thereby improving competitiveness in the market. Patents also contribute to promoting innovation, improving production and business efficiency and creating competitive advantages for enterprises. Laos is in a stage of socio-economic development, with great potential for innovative products and services, so the demand for high-tech, environmentally friendly and energy-saving products is increasing. This is a potential opportunity for Lao inventors and businesses to develop and commercialize their patents. The Lao Government promulgates many policies, regulations and programs to support patent development, creating favorable conditions for inventors and businesses. This includes financial assistance, legal advice, training and technology transfer. Therefore, more and more patent applications are registered in Laos, Viet An Law would like to guide customers preliminarily the procedure for patent registration in Laos through the article below.

Patent registration in Laos

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    Legal basis

    • Law on Intellectual Property No. 38/NA dated November 15, 2017

    Definition of patent in Laos

    In Laos, a patent is defined as an official certificate issued by a state agency to protect new patents that have innovative progress and are capable of industrial application.

    • Official Deed: A patent is an official document issued by the government.
    • State agency: The Lao agency responsible for patents is usually the National Office of Intellectual Property (DIP) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
    • Patent protection: The main purpose of a patent is to protect new and innovative ideas.
    • New: The patent must be completely new and not made public anywhere before a patent application is filed.
    • Creative progress: The patent must not be obvious to ordinary people with knowledge in the relevant field. There should be an element of creativity expressed.
    • Industrial applicability: The patent must have practical application in industry and can be manufactured or used for commercial purposes.

    Conditions for patent registration in Laos

    To register a patent in Laos, the applicant’s patent must meet the following conditions:

    Novelty: The patent must be completely new and not yet made public anywhere in the world before filing a patent application. This means that it must not:

    • Description in printed publication
    • Disclosure during the public presentation
    • Known or used by others
    • Filing a patent application by someone else (except in certain specific cases)

    Creative progress: The patent must not be obvious to ordinary people with knowledge in the relevant field. It should not be a small variation of an existing patent. There must be a creative or creative element that makes it not obvious.

    Industrial applicability: The patent must be capable of manufacturing or use in industry. This means that it must have practical application and be reproducible. It cannot be purely theoretical or on abstract scientific principles.

    Additional Notes:

    • Patent exclusion: Laos excludes certain types of patents from patent protection, such as scientific discoveries, mathematical methods, diagrams, rules and methods of performing mental acts, playing games or business, and treatments on the human or animal body.
    • Small Patents: Laos offers a separate option for utility initiatives with simpler requirements. These are called “small patents” and provide protection for minor improvements or modifications to existing technologies.

    Types of patents that can be registered in Laos

    In Laos, there are two main types of patents that you can apply for:

    Patents

    This type of standard patent provides the most comprehensive protection for patents. It applies to patents as follows:

    • New: Do not make it public anywhere before applying.
    • Creative Progress: Not obvious to someone with a conventional degree in this field.
    • Industrial applicability: Can be produced or used in industry.

    Small Patents

    This is a simpler option suitable for utility initiatives. These are usually minor improvements or modifications to existing technologies. The requirements for obtaining a small patent are usually:

    • New: There may be some previously limited disclosures, but not widely known or commercially exploited.
    • Creative Advancement Requirements: Creative Advance Requirements may be less stringent than standard patents.
    • Industrial applicability: Similar to standard patents.

    Patent application in Laos

    To apply for a patent in Laos, the applicant needs to prepare a dossier that includes the following documents:

    Essential Records:

    • Patent application: This form can be downloaded from the website of the Lao Intellectual Property Office (DIP) (https://dip.gov.la/). The application form usually asks for details about the applicant, inventor, and patent information.
    • Detailed description of the patent: This document should clearly explain the technical features, functions and advantages of the patent. This text should be written in Lao, the official language of Laos.
    • Claims: These requirements determine the scope of protection that the applicant wants for his patent.

    Additional documents (may require):

    • Drawings or illustrations: These images visually represent the patent and can be helpful in understanding its technical details.
    • Patent Statement: This document identifies the inventor (inventors) of the patent.
    • Receipt of payment of filing fee: The fee associated with filing a patent application.

    For Foreign Applicants:

    • Intellectual Property Representation in Laos: Foreign applicants are usually required to apply through a registered representative in Laos to handle the application process. This representative can assist in navigating legal, translation and communication issues with DIP.
    • Priority Document (if applicable): If the applicant has filed a patent application for the same patent in another country and wishes to claim priority based on the previous filing date, the applicant will need to submit a certified copy of the priority document, which can be translated into Lao.

    Patent registration in Laos through PCT system

    What is a PCT system?

    The PCT system stands for  Patent Cooperation Treaty – an international treaty that aims to create a uniform process for filing international patent applications. The system is administered by  the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and has more than 150 countries involved, including Laos. Laos acceded to the Treaty on 14 June 2006

    Benefits of PCT system:

    • Time and cost savings: The PCT system allows applicants to file a single patent application for patent protection in multiple Treaty countries, instead of having to file a separate application in each country. This saves time, costs and administrative procedures.
    • Postponement of national filing deadline: When filing a PCT application, the applicant has an additional 30 months to decide which country the applicant wants to protect the patent. This is valuable time for the applicant to assess the commercial potential of the patent and prepare for the national filing.
    • Simplified Process: The PCT system uses a common set of rules and procedures for all participating countries, which simplifies the filing process and saves time for both the applicant and the national patent office.
    • Early Search Information: The International Patent Search Office and Written Opinion will provide the applicant with information about the novelty and patentability of the patent, helping the applicant make an informed decision about the national filing.
    • Strengthening international cooperation: The PCT system encourages international cooperation in the field of patents by creating a common platform for the exchange of information and sharing of experiences between countries.
    • Innovation support: PCT systems help promote innovation by reducing the procedural burden on inventors and making it easier for them to protect their patents worldwide.

    Patent application through PCT system

    To file a patent application through the PCT system, you need to prepare a dossier that includes the following documents:

    • PCT Application: Applications can be submitted in Vietnamese or English, however, it is recommended to be submitted in English to facilitate the processing process. You can download the PCT form from the WIPO website: https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/forms/
    • Description of patent: The description of the patent should present details and clarity about the patent, including:
      • Patent Name Technical field
      • Patent summary
      • Detailed explanation of the patent
      • Drawings (if any)
      • Claims for protection
    • Claim for protection: The claim should clearly define the scope of protection that the applicant wants for the patent.
    • Patent Declaration: The patent statement should clearly identify the inventor (or inventors).
    • Letter of Authorization (if applicable): If the applicant uses an intellectual property representative to file the application, the applicant should provide a Power of Attorney Letter authorizing the representative to represent the applicant on behalf of the applicant during the application process and processing the procedure.

    Additional documents (may require):

    • Priority Document (if applicable): If the applicant filed a patent application for the same patent in another country prior to filing the PCT application, the applicant may claim priority based on the filing date.
    • Translation (if applicable): If any of the documents on file are not in English or French, the applicant needs to provide a translation into either of these languages.
    • Application fee: The applicant needs to pay the PCT application fee to the International Reception Office (IB).

    Patent registration service in Laos of Viet An Law Firm

    • Carry out the search and notify customers in writing the results of patent search in Laos;
    • Drafting dossiers and directly submitting and monitoring the status of patent applications filed in Laos on behalf of patent owners;
    • Inform, advise and handle deficiencies/refusals of competent State agencies (if any) in the process of monitoring patent applications in Laos;
    • Support monitoring, representing the resolution of objections and feedback with intellectual property representatives to carry out procedures in Laos.
    • Receive dispatches, certificates and hand over to customers (if any).

    If you need to apply for patent registration in Laos, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the most effective support.

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