Laos - Patent

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In Laos, patent protection is obtainable by way of either entering the national phase of a PCT application or filing a direct national application. 

1. Legislations:
Decree No. 01/PM on Patent, Petty Patent and Industrial Designs. 

2. Patentability Criteria:
A patent has to fulfill the following conditions in order to claim protection.

  •  it is new

  •  it involves an inventive step

  •  it is industrially applicable

Non-Patentable Subject Matter:

  •  discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods,

  •  schemes, rules or methods for doing business, performing mental acts or playing games,

  •  methods for the treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy, and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body;

  •  pharmaceutical products as provided in Article 136 of this Law;

  •  plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plant or animals,

  •  plant varieties.

3. Petty Patents:
The Laos patent system also provides for the grant of petty patents (utility model). A petty patent must fulfill the criteria of novelty and industrial applicability (but not inventiveness). Validity of a petty patent is 10 years from the official filing date in Laos and can be extended one time for a period of 2 years, provided that annual maintenance fee is paid. The maximum term of protection 12 years. 

4. Membership:
√ – Paris Convention
√ – atent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 

Laos is a member of the Paris Convention from 1998, whereby applications from convention countries will be subject to the same priority date in Laos. The application for priority has to be made within six months of the first application in a convention country. 

Laos is also a member of the PCT since 2006. An applicant who has made an international patent application may file and/or prosecute the patent application during its national phase entry into Laos within 30 months from the filing date of the international application or from the earliest priority date of the application if a priority is claimed. 

5. Rule of Priority:
“First to file is the rule followed by Laos in determining priority of patents. 

6. Duration:
The duration of protection is 20 years from the official filing date, provided that annual maintenance fee is paid.

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