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March 31, 2020

Lao Department of Intellectual Property Announces Closure During COVID-19 Epidemic

On March 30, 2020, the Lao Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) issued Notification No. 0446/DIP Pursuant to Prime Minister’s Order No.06/PM—the latter being a general order imposing a lockdown in Laos to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The DIP notification announces that the DIP will not provide intellectual property registration or dispute resolution services from April 1 until April 17, inclusive, to comply with the Prime Minister’s Order. Although not expressly mentioned in the announcement, the DIP has confirmed to Tilleke & Gibbins that, in practice, the announcement applies to all services usually offered by the DIP, and the DIP offices will be closed during this period. The DIP website, where the digital database can be found, will remain accessible. All deadlines that would otherwise fall within the closure period will be automatically moved to April 20.

The notification was later followed by Instruction Order from the Ministry of Science and Technology No. 0440/MOST, dated March 30, 2020, stating that all departments under its supervision will be closed. As the DIP is under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology, this reinforces and confirms the closure and dates above.

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