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Commerce ministry strengthens copyright rules with online system

Ministry of Industry and Commerce officials last Monday met to assign work and administrative duties to the Intellectual Property Department and the Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department as well as provincial Industry and Commerce Departments.

The administrative duties assigned by the ministry included management of the decentralization of industrial registration applications, trademarks, notification of copyright information and rights related to copyright, and the resolution of intellectual property disputes.

At the same event, an agreement was signed on bill payment services and service fees for the decentralization of industrial registration applications, trademarks, notification of copyright information and rights related to copyright, and the resolution of intellectual property disputes through the bill payment system.

The agreement was signed between the Intellectual Property Department of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL).

The department’s Director General Dr Khanlasy Keobounphanh and BCEL’s Deputy Managing Director Mr Nanthalath Keopaseuth signed the agreement. The event was witnessed by Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Khampheng Saysompheng alongside other senior ministry officials from various departments, directors of the Vientiane Industry and Commerce Department and provincial Industry and Commerce Departments, and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry prioritises the importance of administrative responsibilities among the Intellectual Property Department and the Vientiane and provincial Industry and Commerce Departments in strengthening the ability of local administration authorities for effective administration.

It also supports decree no. 604/PM dated November 15, 2021, on the performance of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and Prime Minister’s Order no. 34/PM, dated August 23, 2016, on the directions, goals and measures needed to build strategic provinces, strengthened districts, and developed villages. 

In 2019, the Intellectual Property Department, in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), conducted a feasibility study for the development of an electronic system for the acceptance and registration of industrial applications, trademarks, notification of copyright information and rights related to copyright and administrative intellectual property dispute resolution. The World Intellectual Property Organisation helped the department to develop this system, which is connected to regional and international systems including the WIPO Global Brand Database, WIPO Patent scope, WIPO Global Design Database, Asean TM View, Asean Patent scope, and Asean Design View.

In 2020, officials from the department went to Cambodia and Myanmar to witness the use of these systems in practice, and worked with BCEL to prepare for the development of a payment system.  

In 2021, the system was tested and virtual training sessions were organised for officials in the department and various provincial Industry and Commerce Departments.

It is hoped that this newly system will create huge benefits for business operators in Laos and abroad and enable them to access online services related to copyright rights and intellectual property dispute resolution.

Source: Vientiane Times