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Custom Recordal of IPRs in Laos

Laos

Custom Recordal of IPRs
Yes
No
No; due to lack of a formal customs recordal system.
The IP Law and Instructions on Customs Measures for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights No. 1970/MOF (‘Customs Measures Instructions’) regulates the ‘customs information’ measures in Laos.
Custom Recordal of IPRs is effective only the import of goods.
The tariff officer and other competent officers at the Lao borders have the right and duty of inspecting the imported goods, and seizing and confiscating infringing goods. They can also give a simple ‘warning.’
The procedure is as follows and is based on knowledge gathered from precedents due to lack of procedural system:
  • An official letter can be submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)/Department of Intellectual Property Standardization and Metrology (DIPSM).
  • The PMO/ DIPSM will then examine the case and need for the cessation of the sanction.
  • The PMO/DIPSM will issue a formal notice to all line ministries, including the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance (customs), and the Ministry of Public Security (Economic Police) to monitor or cease the importation or trading of the products.
The documents should be in Lao language. The documents are as follows:
  • Official Letter from the IP Agent
  • Power of Attorney
  • Request from the proprietor to prevent such importation
  • Evidence and statistics of the importation of counterfeit goods
  • Deed of ownership/ Status of the applicant
  • Original product to help differentiate from the counterfeits
There is no fixed time frame. It is generally a very time-taking procedure.
The customs authority has a centralized system. The applicant has to send it to the PMO and the same is then forwarded, after receiving the Official Notice, to all the ministries and units of customs.
No, a letter addressed to the PMO is to be sent.
The customs authority suspends the clearance of imported goods only if it receives confirmation from the IP rights holder within the stipulated time.
The IP rights holder bears the liabilities and expenses related to suspension of the release of infringing goods.
Yes
Within 10 days, rights owner must initiate the judicial action. Failure to do so will entitle the Customs to release the goods immediately thereafter.
Yes
It may depend on the circumstances of each case, but is usually around K10 million ($1,250).
The disadvantages are as follows:
  • Time consuming
  • Not Sophisticated
  • Requires cooperation of many sectors
  • Very costly
  • Inexperienced IP Officers
There has been no such instance of appeal so far.