Rajah & Tann Regional Round-Up

your snapshot of key legal developments in Asia

Issue 1 - May/Jun/Jul 2013


Lao Government to Strengthen Intellectual Property Regulation

On 27 May 2013, the Director-General of the Ministry of Science and Technology's Department of Intellectual Property, Mr Sitha Phouyavong, spoke at the Lao Consultation Forum on Accession to the Madrid Protocol.  In his speech, Mr Phouyavong noted that Laos would need to overhaul its intellectual property administration in preparation for Laos’ participation in the Madrid Protocol system by 2015. It is necessary to protect intellectual property by law to encourage inventiveness and creativity, and to combat intellectual property rights infringement and illegal business practices. This is one of the issues the Lao Government will have to tackle in addressing its poverty reduction plans by the year 2020.

The Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks, or Madrid Protocol, is an agreement for a system that facilitates the international registration of trademarks through one application which can cover more than one country. Under the Madrid Protocol, trademark owners can obtain a single “International Registration” designating some or all of the member countries, instead of filing separate national applications in each country. If none of the member countries objects to the International Registration, the trademark owners will not have to hire attorneys in each country to assist them with the registration process. This typically results in significant cost-savings. Moreover, an International Registration can be maintained, renewed and assigned through a single filing with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (“WIPO”), resulting in further cost-savings throughout the life of the registration.

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Power Purchase Agreement Signed for Proposed Dam in Champassak Province, Laos

State-owned corporation of Laos Electricite du Laos ("EDL") will work with XJ Group Corporation and Asia International Import-Export Company after reaching an agreement on tariffs for the planned Don Isom-Tadsomphamit hydropower project ("Project") in Champassak province, Laos. The Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") in relation to the Project was signed by, amongst others, EDL Managing Director SisavathThiravong and XJ Group Corporation Deputy General Manager Cheng Limin. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr Limin said that the signing of the MOU by the parties concerned was the first step towards the completion of the project.

The proposed dam is located in Khong district, Champassak province. Construction is expected to take two or three years at an estimated cost of US$28 million. The dam will have an installed capacity of 10MW, and will be capable of producing 32.4 gigawatt hours per annum. The electricity generated by the project will be connected to the grid by a 22 kV transmission line, with the power to be purchased by EDL for a period of 30 years.

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Please note that whilst the information in this Update is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief at the time of writing, it is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and should not be treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.


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Desmond Wee
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