“First to file” and “first to use” are legal concepts to determine who has the right to the grant of a trademark in many jurisdictions around the world. Under the “first to file” rule, the right to the grant of a trademark lies with the first person to file a trademark application for protection, regardless of the date of using this brand in public. In contrast, in the “first to use” system, it is not registration, but the actual use of the first entity to make a valid use in commerve of the particular trademark is the one that has right. In the “first to use” countries, the protection over trademarks is not accompanied with the registration.

Laos follows the rule “first to file”, which is the same with many countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Canada, Thailand, China, the EU, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, meaning that the person, who fills a trademark registration application the first, shall have prior rights with that trademark, no matter how long others use it. Therefore, it is necessary for trademark holders to file their applications as soon as possible. After the time procedure, the trademark could be granted and provided a defense to infringement.

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