The US is demanding that Laos speed up the process to make their intellectual property law clearer before the country becomes a member of the WTO.
Laos hopes to become a WTO member by the end of this year (2012). Even though the US voted for Laos to become a member of the WTO, it prizes Intellectual Property Rights because it loses billions of dollars each year due to piracy. It wants to ensure therefore that Laos implements proper enforcement mechanisms to combat infringement.
The problem the US has is that the National Assembly approved the amended Law on Intellectual Property in 2 011 and the President promulgated it in early 2012. To become enforceable however, the Prime Minister will have to issue a decree, which provides officials with guidelines on how to put the law into practice. The Prime Minister is however unable to issue the decree because many of the articles in the amended Law on Intellectual Property are too general for the officials to make definitive decisions in relation to the law.
The clarification is taking too long for the US. With less than five months to go, there isn’t much time for Laos to drag their feet.