This CTIF mandate provides technical assistance to the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) within the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR to strengthen their capacity in intellectual property rights (IPRs) implementation and enforcement to achieve national trade and development objectives. This support will be delivered to DIP officials through training, coaching, and advisory services. Communication tools will be developed to increase an understanding inside and outside the government of the role of IPRs in economic development. Knowledge exchange visits will promote an increased understanding of best practices in IPR enforcement.
Problem being addressed by CTIF
Trade policy is essential to Lao PDR’s development strategy as the country prepares to graduate from its least developed country (LDC) status. Increased government, private sector and civil society understanding and readiness to implement and enforce IPR commitments in trade agreements are increasingly important components of this national strategy.
Accessing opportunities through innovation is integral to the effective implementation and enforcement of intellectual property rights. IPRs provide certain exclusive rights to creators and stimulate creativity and inventiveness so that society benefits from new or improved works, products or services. IPR enforcement is critical to maintaining the integrity of the marketplace by correcting information asymmetries between the buyer and the seller of a good or service and ensuring a more predictable and credible IPR regime.
Effective and efficient IP systems are a means of promoting greater economic and social advancement. Certification and collective trademarks, geographical indications, copyright, and newer forms of IP protection for traditional knowledge and cultural expression are important for priority industries in Lao PDR, such as handicrafts, in encouraging innovation and promoting individual artisans and sectoral interests.
Strong IP regimes allow consumers to make educated choices about their purchases’ safety, reliability, and effectiveness. Well-enforced IPRs ensure that products are genuine and of the high-quality consumers recognize and expect. As women tend to be largely involved in decision-making regarding household consumption, they greatly benefit from the consumer protection aspects of IPRs.