Question: We would like to know whether Laos has a system of trademark registration and what are the steps and requirements to protect a Trademark in Laos. If trademark registration is available in Laos, what is the length of protection/registration granted? We would also like to know whether there is a system of recording licence agreements for Laos trade marks on the Laos Trade Mark Register (if applicable) and if so, what is the legal effect of recording licences on the Laos Trade Mark Register. Conversely, what is the legal effect if the licence is not recorded on the Laos Trade Mark Registe?
Answer: There is a system of trademark registration in Laos. In order to protect a trademark in Laos, it is required to file application for registration of the trademark at the Lao DIP.
The prevailing laws of Laos have no provision requiring license agreements and/or recordal thereof. However, according to Article 6 of the Decree 06/PM on Trademarks, prior to the use of a registered trademark by a person/entity other than the trademark owner, such person/entity must have the consent of the owner and notify the Science, Technology and Environment Organization (STEO) in advance. So, in case the consent is given under a license, the notifying of such license must be made under the recordal procedure at the STEO, subject to the requirements as follows:
– License Agreement, notarized,
– Power of Attorney of the Licensor and/or Licensee, notarized, and
– Copy of trademark certificate.
The license agreement will be effective as agreed by the parties. The STEO will only record the license agreement with the terms and conditions thereof. The Lao authorities do not prohibit any restrictions since the authorities will only acknowledge the content of the License Agreement. The scope and limitation of the rights given to the licensee will solely depend on what the 2 parties agreed with.