INTRODUCTIONIn today’s competitive environment of freetrade and globalization, the protection of IP hasbecome an increasingly important internationalissue. The emergence of a new global economypropelled by rapid technological progress andworldwide communication system has placed IPin the mainstream of the national developmentpolicy in many countries. For this reason IP isconsidered to be one important element of theLao Government Policies.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYLEGISLATION• Law on Intellectual Property No 08/NA datedDecember 24, 2007.• Law on Intellectual Property No 01/NA datedDecember 20, 2011. (Amended)• Ministerial Decision on the Implementation ofthe Law on Intellectual Property concerningPatent and Petty Patent No 752/MOST dated20/09/2012.
• Ministerial Decision on the Implementation ofthe Law on Intellectual Property concerningTrademark and Trade name No 753/MOSTdated 20/09/2012.• Ministerial Decision on the Implementation ofthe Law on Intellectual Property concerningCopyright and Related Rights No 754/MOSTdated 20/09/2012.• Ministerial Decision on the Implementation ofthe Law on Intellectual Property concerningIndustrial Design No 755/MOST dated20/09/2012.
• Ministerial Decision on the Implementation ofthe Law on Intellectual Property concerningGeographical Indication No 756/MOST dated20/09/2012.• Ministerial Decision on the Implementation ofthe Law on Intellectual Property concerningLayout-design of Integrated Circuit No 757/MOST dated 20/09/2012.
LAW ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTYNo 01/NA dated December 20, 2011.Objectives:This Law on Intellectual Property determinesthe principles, regulations and measuresrelating to the promotion of inventions,creativities, knowledge-based economy,management and protection of intellectualproperty rights, in order to ensure thelegitimate interests of the owner of intellectual
property and the interests of state, society,encourage the research and develop scienceand technology, the transfer of technologywithin the country and from abroad, effectivelyaiming to promote trade, investment and thecompetitiveness for the national economy inthe era of globalization, contribute in thegradual industrialization and modernization ofthe country.
Intellectual Property• Intellectual property is work of the human mindthrough inventions and creations. (Article. 2)Intellectual Property FrameworkIntellectual property is composed of:• industrial property;• new plant variety;• copyright and related rights. (Article. 8)
New Plant VarietyNew plant variety is composed of:• Plant variety that exists generally and is derivedfrom improvements to become a new plantvariety;• Plant variety that is discovered in the natureand then is developed to become a new plantvariety. (Article. 10)
Requirements for Registration of NewPlant Varieties• The registration of a new plant variety shallmeet all the following requirements:• new;• distinct;• uniform;• stable;• the variety is designated by a denomination inaccordance with the provisions of Article 73 ofthis Law. (Article. 68)
NoveltyA variety shall be deemed to be new if, at thedate of filing of the application for a breeder’sright, propagating or harvested material of thevariety has not been sold or otherwise disposedof to others, by or with the consent of thebreeder, for purposes of exploitation of thevariety within the time period:• more than one year before the date of filing ofthe national application; or• earlier than four years, or in the case of treesor vines, earlier than six years before the saiddate in any other territory.
Distinctness• The variety shall be deemed to be distinct if itis clearly distinguishable from any other varietywhose existence is a matter of commonknowledge at the time of the filing of theapplication.Uniformity• The variety shall be deemed to be uniform if,subject to the variation that may be expectedfrom the particular features of its propagation,it is sufficiently uniform in its relevantcharacteristics.
Stability• The variety shall be deemed to be stable if itsrelevant characteristics remain unchanged afterrepeated propagation or, in the case of aparticular cycle of propagation, at the end ofeach such cycle.
Eligibility to Submit an ApplicationAny individual, legal entity or organizationeligible to submit an application is as follows:• any breeder as defined above may file anapplication for breeder’s rights;• where two or more persons have jointly bred anew variety, such persons may jointly apply forplant breeder’s rights.• a foreign individual, legal entity or organizationshall enjoy within the territory of the Lao PDRthe same treatment as is accorded to Laonationals.
Application for Registration• Any individual, legal entity or organizationeligible to apply for plant breeders rights mayfile an application to register a plant variety atMinistry of Science and Technology. Eachapplication for registration of new plant varietyshall relate to a single plant variety.(Article. 76)Examination• An application for plant variety protection shallbe subject to an examination for formalitiesand a substantive examination for compliancewith the conditions and shall be published asset forth in the Regulations.
• In the course of the examination, the Ministryof Science and Technology may cause thegrowing of the variety or the carrying out ofother necessary tests, or take into account theresults of growing tests or other trials whichhave already been carried out.• Where an application has been filed in anothercountry, the applicant may furnish theapplication and examination report from theplant variety authority in such country andrequest that such report be adopted.(Article. 77)
Rights of the Plant Variety Owner• The new plant variety owner has rights asfollows:• to prevent individual, legal entity or organization:– production or reproduction;– conditioning for the purpose of propagation;– offering for sale;– selling or other marketing;– exporting, importing;– stocking for any of the purposes mentioned in itemsabove.
• to make his authorization subject to conditions andlimitations;• to protect their rights under the law and regulationsagainst infringements by others such as to institute courtaction, [and] rights to compensation from damagescaused by others.Term of Protection of the New PlantVarietiesThe term of protection of the new plant varietyshall be, for trees and vines, a fixed period of25 years from the date of grant of thebreeder’s right and for other varieties of plants,20 years from the date of grant of thebreeder’s right.
Measures Regulating Commerce• The grant of a breeder's right shall not beconstrued as authorizing any person to exploitit freely in the territory of the Lao PDR, butdepending on administrative measures of theconcerned authorities.Restrictions Based on Public Interests• Where it is necessary to meet an urgent publicneeds and to ensure food supply or to preventcommercial monopolies, the government canissue notifications allowing the exploitation of aprotected variety without the authorization ofthe right owner.
IP ADMINISTRATION AUTHORTYThe government manages intellectualproperty in a centralized and unifiedprinciple throughout the country assigningthe Ministry of Science and Technology asthe central coordinator with the relevantsectors, such as the Industry andCommerce, Agriculture and Forestry,Information, Culture and Tourism,Education and Sports, Public Health,Finance sectors and relevant localadministrations.
FUTURE DIRECTION• Establishing the new plant variety registrationsystem at the Ministry of Science andTechnology by the end of 2013.• Establishing the DUS Test Center at theMinistry of Agriculture and Forestry.• Seeking a cooperation in capacity buildingparticularly in DUS examination and developingTest Guidelines• Strengthening PVP awareness among publicand private sectors.
CLONCLUSIONIt is an overview of current situation onIntellectual Property as well as new plantvariety protection system in Lao PDR.Therefore, it requires more assistance andexchange of experiences with other countriesto improve the new plant variety protectionsystem in our country. The protection of IP isnow being given great attention as an incentiveand encouragement for the promotion ofinnovation, investment, trade, economic andagriculture development of the nation.
Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Science and TechnologyP.O.Box: 2279,Nahaidiao Street, Vientiane , Lao PDR.Tel: 856-21-213470 / 240784 Fax: 856-21-213472