Patent protection in Vietnam

What is protected patent in Vietnam? The conditions for patent protection in Vietnam: Novelty; Inventive nature of invention; Industrial applicability.

Invention will be protected in the form of invention patent and utility solution patent.

Conditions for Patent protection in Vietnam

  • Having novelty
  • Having inventive nature
  • Having Industrial applicability

Besides, some of the following objects will not be protected as patent:

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

In order to be protected, it is very important to keep the invention confidential in case it can be copied and commercialized at which impacts the using and buying, selling or transferring inventions by the owner, thereby reducing competitive advantage as well as the rights and interests of owners.

Confidential information of an invention is essential before the protection of such invention granted. However, it is inevitable that invention is known by the creators, the competent authorities and parties involved. Therefore, those parties will be responsible for keeping information confidential.

Novelty of inventions

An invention shall be considered novel if it has not been publicly disclosed by use, by means of written description, or in any other way in the domestic or foreign country before the date of filing of the patent application or the priority date which has been claimed.

An invention shall be considered not yet publicly disclosed if only being revealed to a limited number of people who are obligated to keep it confidential.

The owner may register an invention within six months from the date of publication in the following circumstances:

  • The invention is published by another person without permission from the person having the right to file
  • The invention is published in the form of a scientific presentation by the person having the right to file
  • The invention is displayed at a national exhibition of Vietnam or at an official or officially recognized international exhibition by the person having the right to file.

Inventive nature of invention

An invention is considered reaching the inventive level if the technical solutions have been publicly disclosed by use, by means of written description, or in any other way in the domestic or foreign country before the date of filing of the patent application or the priority date which has been claimed.

Such invention is an inventive step that cannot be easily created by a person with average knowledge in the art.

Industrial applicability

The industrial applicability demonstrates when an invention in form of a product can be manufactured in any kind of industry or in the form of a process having been applied repeatedly and have achieved the stability.

If a utility solution is not common knowledge, it shall be protected in the form of a utility solution patent when it satisfies the conditions of novelty and inventive nature.

Validity of patent in Vietnam

A patent shall be valid from the grant date and last for 20 years from the filing date. The patent can be renewed by paying a validity maintenance fee.

Priority right for patent protection in Vietnam

Priority right will be applied to contracting parties of the Paris Convention and of other treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party or have an agreement with Vietnam on the application of the priority right provisions.

The priority right will be related to the priority date on which the owner first file an application for invention protection in a member country of mentioned convention/ treaty, then the owner file an application for the same invention in Vietnam, the filing date in Vietnam shall be considered as the first filing date or so called priority date.

However, in order to claim priority, it is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the owner, registration application and the allowed time:

  • The applicant is a citizen of Vietnam or of a member country of mentioned convention/treaty, who resides or run a business in Vietnam or in the member country of mentioned convention/treaty.
  • The invention registration application must be accepted, which means that it has passed formality examination
  • when submit an invention registration application, the owner has to claim the priority right together with a certified copy of the first application.
  • The time limit for claiming priority of patent in Vietnam is 12 months from the date of the first filing date and the first filing date is not counted within the period (this period applies only to countries that are party to the Convention Paris).

Consequently, the right of priority will benefit the owner on the basis that many different applications are filed, then the applicant with the earlier priority date will be more likely to be granted protection.

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