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The Laos People’s Democratic Republic Becomes the Sixth Country to Sign a Validation Agreement with EPO

14-May-2024 | Source : The European Patent Office (EPO) | Visits : 474

MUNICH - The European Patent Office (EPO) welcomed a delegation from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Laos, led by Deputy Minister Ms. Chansouk Sengphachanh, for the signing of a landmark Validation Agreement. This agreement marks a significant milestone in strengthening intellectual property rights in Laos, fostering innovation, and driving economic growth. Once it has entered into force, the agreement will streamline market access into Laos for European patent applicants, thereby facilitating foreign direct investment, trade, and technology transfer. The agreement will also open the way for companies, research institutes, and inventors in Laos to cooperate more closely with the users of the European patent system around the world, according to the official website of EPO. 

Supporting technological development

Under the agreement, Laos’ patent system will benefit from centralized search and examination performed by the EPO’s 4,000 highly skilled examiners.  This will bolster legal certainty, clarity, and protection for innovators and businesses, and foster an environment that encourages innovation and growth. During the signing ceremony, both parties underlined their commitment to collaboration, laying the foundation for future partnerships in innovation and economic development.

Laos is now the EPO’s second validation partner from Southeast Asia and the sixth country signing a Validation Agreement with the European Patent Organization, after Morocco, Tunisia, Moldova, Cambodia, and Georgia.

Validation Agreements are fully in force in these countries, as will be the case for Laos in the very near future.   

A closer look at the validation system

Validation Agreements are based on a single European patent application, which eliminates the need to file a corresponding national patent application. Following the introduction of SP2028, the EPO will pursue validation agreements as the preferred and most advanced form of cooperation with countries that are not members of the European Patent Convention (EPC). The system comes with several advantages: national resources that would otherwise be allocated to search and examination of second filings can be invested in the promotion of national filings, awareness raising, and capacity building. This contributes to the overall sustainability of the patent system and renders the market of the validation state more attractive to investors.


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