In the past few decades, Vietnam has emerged as one of the fastest growing economy in the ASEAN region. The intensifying trade war between the United States and China has also inspired Vietnam’s economic growth. Foreign direct investments is the boosters to assist the government to create more job opportunities and eliminate poverty. Concurrently, they are demanding the Vietnamese government to intervene and provide an overarching protection to safeguard their Intellectual Property (IP) rights and interests.
In response to the increasing incidents of Intellectual Property infringements, The National Assembly of Vietnam has passed an amendment bill to revise the 2019 amendments. The revised provisions come into effect from 1st of January, 2023 to offer adequate protection to the IP owners. Some of the key highlights and crucial amendments are summarised and listed below:
- The revised bill has introduced several additional grounds to invalidate a patent registration in Vietnam, such as:
- The patent registration violates the security control regulations;
- The patent registration failed to comply with the first-to-file principle;
- The post-filing amendment of the application goes beyond the scope and subject matter or it has altered the subject matter claimed;
- Failure to provide full and frank disclosure of the origin of the genetic resources or traditional knowledge contained in the patent application;
- The invention is not clearly explained in the specification
- And etc…
- The latest amendment is now being extended to recognise the disclosures in publications of patents with an earlier filing or priority date but that are later published on or after the filing or priority date of the application that is under examination.
- The 2022 IP Law amendments also granted the authority to the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IPOV) to refer to the official results of substantive examinations performed by other foreign IP offices while examining the novelty of patent application in Vietnam.
- The latest amendments has reconsidered the regulations governing well-known marks in Vietnam. If a well-known mark is one that widely recognised within ‘relevant public’ of the territory of Vietnam. The assembly has permanently removed the unnecessarily high burden of proving a well-known mark.
- The new regulation also widened its scope to protect non-traditional marks such as sound marks. Sound mark is only recognisable by hearing, it is not visible but it is capable to assist the applicant/owner to differentiate their goods/services with other undertakings in the same industry
- The 2022 amendments has significantly simplified the process and requirements of applying industrial designs protection. The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam will give more weight on the photos and drawings of the designs provided on the applicant rather than focusing on the written description that might be cumbersome.
- The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam may now grant an extension of time to the applicant to defer publication after formality acceptance issued by the IP Office. However, this is not an automatic deferment and it is subjected to the registrar discretion upon application, the deferment period may varies from case-to-case basis and the maximum extension would be seven months. The rationale behind this rule is to allow the applicant to conceal the design until they are ready to initiate an official launch
Last but not least, this Intellectual Property (IP) Law amendments is an effort by the Vietnam officials to keep their statutes align with a series of international treaties and agreements such as the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and etc. The amendments also addressed a variety of mechanisms to prevent, enforce and penalise every form of Intellectual Property infringements. It is definitely a new milestone of Intellectual Property development in Vietnam.
In PINTAS, we sincerely believe that Intellectual Property (IP) rights are the most valuable assets of your business. With over 20 years of experiences of Intellectual Property prosecution in the ASEAN region, our professional team are ready to serve you in the most effective and efficient way. If you any IP related inquiries, please do not hesitate to consult us.