10 Frequently Asked Questions About Obtaining Patents in Vietnam

You have a new invention and you are ready to explore or venture into the market of Vietnam. However, you are afraid that people may take your idea and misuse it.

You seek for professional advice and you are told that you should file for a Patent application. Nevertheless, you are unfamiliar in this area and would like to know more before deciding on whether to apply for it.

Here are 10 frequently asked questions that will help you to understand better on filling a Patent in Vietnam:

1. What rights do an owner of a patent have?

Patents are protected by intellectual property rights. You will have the following rights over the patent if you own it:

  • the exclusive right to use and/or authorize a third party to use the patented invention or utility solution
  • the right to prohibit or prevent others from using the patented invention or utility solution
  • the right to transfer or assign the patented invention or utility solution
  • the right to license all or parts of the patented invention or utility solution

2. When is the best time to file?

You will want to begin the process of filing your patent in Vietnam as soon as possible and not to make the invention public before filing the application. This is because Vietnam adheres to the “First to File” rule which means that the first person or business to file a patent gets to claim the intellectual property as theirs, regardless of whether another party was the inventor or the first to use the patented creation.

3. Can you describe your product in detail?

Part of the patent application process involves providing a comprehensive written description of what you’ve created and its functions. (Of course, as the inventor of this great idea, you probably know the inside out of the invention, but just in case – you may need to elaborate further in detail).

4. Are you prepared for the rigors of the process?

Unfortunately, obtaining a patent in Vietnam isn’t as direct and simple as just informing about your invention, signing off a piece of paper and walking away with a patent in hand. It may be long-winded and time constraining.

5. What are the requirements for Patent in Vietnam?

According to Vietnam Law on Intellectual Property, an invention means a technical solution in form of a product or a process which is intended to solve a problem by application of laws of nature. An invention shall be protected by mode of grant of invention patent or utility solution patent in Vietnam.

The following requirements have to be satisfied for it to be protected by mode of grant of invention patent:

  • Your invention has to be new or novel

An invention is considered novel, if at the date of the application, it is not similar to any technology that has previously been disclosed. (Wondering what constitutes being previously disclosed? If your invention was featured in an article, advertised, sold, or demonstrated in public, it will not receive a patent).

  • The invention involved an inventive step

An invention is considered to involve an inventive step if it is not obvious to a person skilled in the art. It must be something that represents an improvement over an existing product or process that already exists.

  • Being susceptible of industrial application

An invention is capable of industrial application if it can be implemented in the industry as described in the patent application. Keep in mind, your invention or idea will probably pass this requirement as it’s both applied loosely and the nature of an invention is to improve upon some product or process.


Unless it is a common knowledge, an invention shall be protected by mode of grant of utility solution patent when it satisfies the following conditions:

  • Your invention has to be new or novel
  • Being susceptible of industrial application

6. What inventions are not eligible for Patent in Vietnam?

The National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) has listed the following which are excluded from patentability in Vietnam:

  • Scientific discoveries or theories, mathematical methods;
  • Schemes, plans, rules and methods for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games, doing business; computer programs;
  • Presentations of information;
  • Solutions of aesthetical characteristics only;
  • Plant varieties, animal breeds;
  • Processes of plant or animal production which are principally of biological nature other than microbiological ones; and
  • Human and animal disease prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods.

7. Will I have to do a Patent search?

Yes. It is essential to conduct a patent search prior to filing a patent in Vietnam in order to avoid any overlap of prior inventions which will negate the novelty of your invention.

The search process will present any prior inventions that have similarities with your invention, and provides you with the possibility of distinguishing your invention from the prior invention.

In some cases, you may wish to provide further improvements or enhancements to your invention which would potentially grant you a higher chance at fulfilling the novelty criteria.

8. Can I conduct my own Patent search?

Technically, yes. But here’s why you should not.

A person who is not a professional may not be able to understand the results of the search, or they may not be able to conduct as thorough a search as is necessary.

It is important that you seek the help of a reputable IP Firm to ensure you’re following all the necessary procedures and can afford you with the necessary advice to enhance your patent application in Vietnam in order for you to get approval of the said patent as quickly as possible.

9. How long does a Patent application in Vietnam take before it is granted?

The patent application in Vietnam may takes up to four to six years.

10. How long is the validity of a Patent in Vietnam?

An invention patent shall be valid for 20 years from the filing date whereas a utility solution patent lasts for 10 years from the date of filing.

Do take note that you will have to pay an annuity patent fee in order to maintain the validity of patent in Vietnam.

Get help from experts to file your patent in Vietnam

The 10 questions that we’ve addressed above should have given you a clearer picture on the patent application in Vietnam. It is important for you to take the time to weigh the pros and cons before you get too deep into the process and lose valuable money and time.

Seek the services of a reputable IP firm like Pintas to help you through the patent registration in Vietnam.

Sources:

PATENTS – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE OF VIETNAM (noip.gov.vn)

Vietnam | South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk (southeastasia-iprhelpdesk.eu)