The Ministry of Science and Technology will conduct a formality examination of each industrial property application to ensure that the application is complete, in correct form, and that fees have been paid. The Ministry of Science and Technology will notify the applicant whether the application is sufficiently complete to receive a filing date.
If the application is sufficiently complete to receive a filing date but it appears that the application is incomplete or otherwise incorrectly filed, the Ministry of Science and Technology will inform the applicant to complete the application within 60 days of notification.
After completion of the formality examination of the application, the Ministry of Science and Technology will examine as to substance the patent, petty patent, industrial design, trademark and geographical indication applications for registration.
An application for a patent is subject to a substantive examination to determine whether it meets the requirements for patentability or for obtaining a petty patent as described in this Law. The substantive examination shall be based on a search of existing technical knowledge. Where the application has previously been subject to a search or examination by another authority the applicant may submit a copy of the report of such office and request that it be accepted in lieu of conducting a search in the Lao PDR.
If the applicant is unable to provide substantive examination reports for the invention or utility innovation which is the subject of the application, the applicant may submit a request to the Ministry of Science and Technology to examine as to substance the application. The Ministry of Science and Technology will undertake the examination within the following time frames: 32 months for an invention and 12 months for a utility innovation from the date of filing the application or the priority date. However, all expenses incurred in the request for the examination of the invention or utility innovation registration application shall be the burden of the requestor.
The registration applications for industrial design, trademark and geographical indication will not be requested to examine as to substance.
After consideration and examination of the industrial property registration applications which are considered to fulfill the requirements provided for in this law, the Ministry of Science and Technology will issue a patent, petty patent or industrial property registration certificate, enter the registration in the register and publish the registration in the official industrial property gazette.
Where an industrial design, trademark or geographical indication has been registered, the third party may request an objection or a cancellation of such registration within period of 5 years from the date of publication in the official gazette.