As the first and sole intellectual property agency set up in 1984 once after the establishment of National Office of Invention (currently known as National Office of Intellectual Property), VCCI – IP is proud to be the foremost practitioners of patent prosecution in Vietnam.
During over 30 years of patent practice, VCCI – IP commits to provide the best services in patent prosecution and enforcement. Our patent practitioners are of good knowledge of patent registration under Paris Convention and the PCT rules, and Vietnamese IP Law. They are not only patent attorneys but also engineers in various technical fields such as electrics, electronics, mechanics, information and communication, chemical and biological engineering, pharmaceutics and so forth, by which VCCI – IP enables to provide all legal and technical services in relation to registration and protection of inventions, including but not limited to the followings:
- Conducting searches for patent information, prior art and patentability of inventions;
- Providing legal advices and representing for filing and prosecuting patent applications, including response to/appeal against office actions in the course of prosecution of patent applications;
- Providing legal advices and representing for filing patent applications under PCT or filing patent applications in foreign countries;
- Translating and/or drafting specification of invention;
- Providing legal advices and representing for recordal of license/assignment of patents for invention and technology transfer;
- Providing legal advices and representing for recordal of changes in patent applications and/or patents for invention.
- Providing legal advices on patent validity, monitoring and payment for patent annuity.
- Conducting investigation relating to patent infringement;
- Providing legal advices and representing for settlement of appeals, disputes, infringement actions of patents;
- Other related services;
VCCI – IP has four patent departments specialized in particular technical fields:
In Vietnamese jurisdiction, an invention which is considered to be patentability should be a technical solution in the form of a product or a process, to resolve a specific problem by utilizing laws of nature given that it meets the following criteria:
- To be novel;
- Inventive step (non-obviousness);
- Industrial applicability;
- Not being non-patentable subject matters
In view of the definition of invention as a product or process, subject-matter “use”, including “Use of new substance” or “Use in new function” of a known substance is not subject to patent as it is not considered to be a product or a process.
The object eligible for patent protection shall be granted a Patent for Invention, which is of validity from the grant date to the end of 20 years commencing from the filing date, given that the annuity is duly paid.
Non-patentable subject matters
Like many other countries in the world, Vietnam excludes from patentability of subject matters as follows:
- Discoveries, scientific theories; mathematical methods;
- Schemes, plans, rules or methods for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games, doing business; computer programs;
- Presentations of information;
- Solutions of aesthetic characteristics only;
- Plant varieties, animal varieties, processes of essentially biological nature for the production of plants and animals other than microbiological processes;
- Disease prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods for human or animals.
In addition, any invention that contravenes to the State’s regulations, social morality, prejudice to public order or harmful to national defense and security is also non-patentable.
Time limit for filing patent application
As a state party adhered to the Paris Convention and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and a member of the World Trade Organization, Vietnam has made up its IP legal system in conformity with the Paris Convention, PCT and TRIPS Agreements. Accordingly, patent applications claiming priority rights under Paris Convention must be filed before the NOIP within 12 months from the first priority date, meanwhile time limit applicable for a PCT application to enter into the Vietnamese national phase is 31 months from the first priority date, applied for both Chapter I and Chapter II of the Treaty. The 6-month grace period is no longer available.
Examination process of patent application
Requirements for utility solution protection:
Utility solution may be considered as a “petty patent” in Vietnam. The formal certificate of protection thereof is so called “Patent for Utility solution”.
In terms of subject matters, unlike “utility model” which is normally given in other countries to a title of protection for certain inventions in the forms of articles or devices in the mechanical field, the utility solution in Vietnam is defined as a technical solution, any product or process as same as invention sought to be granted patent. However, it is less stringent in terms of protection requirements in which the following two criteria are taken into account in the process of examination to grant the Patent for utility solution:
- Worldwide novelty;
- Industrial applicability.
The requirement for “inventive step” is not required for utility solution. The protection in the form of Patent for utility solution, to some extent, opens an opportunity to the patent application, which is rejected for the grant of Patent for invention for lacking the inventive step, to be convertible to a utility solution application for seeking protection.
A utility solution eligible for protection criteria will be granted a Patent for Utility Solution, which is of validity from the grant date to the end of 10 years counted from the filing date, given that the annuity is paid.
Time limit for filing a utility solution application:
The time limit for filing a utility solution application is similar to time limit for filing a patent application.