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Client Profile:
The Royal Kingdom of Bhutan is a small, landlocked country in South Asia, geographically located eastward of the Himalayas. Bhutan is known for pursuing an economic development model focused on national happiness and sustainable growth as opposed to just economic growth. Bhutan is considering to re-activate its WTO accession process, which was initiated in 1999. Should it decide to do so, Bhutan will be required to revise many of its laws in order to bring them into conformity with the WTO covered agreements. Another interesting development on the horizon includes that Bhutan has been recommended to graduate from its least-developed country status in 2020.

Legal Advice:

  • Sidley lawyers are assisting Bhutan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs with a variety of matters, including:
  • Reviewing Bhutan’s draft Industrial Design Legislation to ensure it is aligned with international best practices
  • Reviewing Bhutan’s updated e-commerce consumer protection legislation with international best practices
  • As Bhutan will graduate from least-developed country status, it will automatically lose eligibility under the EU’s Everything But Arms scheme. In this context, Sidley lawyers have analyzed Bhutan’s eligibility for the EU’s GSP+ preferential scheme, as well as the anticipated economic benefits that would come with joining this scheme.

Client feedback:
“With regard to my Pro Bono experience with Sidley, I am highly appreciative of the intellectual capacity of officials at Sidley. I (an employee of IP office of Bhutan) received pro Bono service of the highest standard on Industrial Designs Act development from Sidley’s experts. I got to understand diverse options to consider for Bhutan’s Industrial Act to ensure it is in conformity with the modern day requirements. I would like to thank and continue to request Sidley to keep working to provide pro Bono services with such high standards and commitment.”

- Lekey Dorji - Intellectual Property Officer, Ministry of Economic Affairs of Bhutan