In recent years, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IP Office) has promoted the domestic development of intellectual property through a range of activities under the National Program for IP Asset Development. These activities include public awareness campaigns, trade promotion activities, IP training, and support for the registration of IP rights of Vietnamese individuals and organizations.
As an example of such activities, on April 15, 2020, the IP Office issued Official Letter No. 5360/SHTT-NDHT regarding assistance to Vietnamese individuals in filing international (PCT) patent applications. The main contents of the letter are summarized below.
(i) Entities to be Assisted:
The assistance is available to Vietnamese individuals who are applicants with technical solutions that meet the following requirements:
- Able to meet the patent protection requirements;
- Can be applied in practice in manufacturing and business activities;
- Have not yet received any financial assistance from the state budget for international invention patent registration;
- Filed patent applications with the IP Office between August 15, 2019, and May 15, 2020.
(ii) Assistance to be Provided:
Eligible applicants can receive the following assistance:
- Advice and guidance on the general procedures and regulations and the documents required for filing international patent applications;
- Revision of specifications to meet the requirements for filing in the international phase and translation of the specifications into English;
- Assistance with preparation of various application documents, and filling in the application form as stipulated;
- Payment of the IP agent’s fee in Vietnam;
- International filing in the form of filing PCT patent applications in the international phase.
(iii) Financial Support:
The IP Office will cover 70% of the total costs of filing PCT patent applications in the international phase up to a maximum of VND 60 million (about USD 2,550) per solution. The individuals involved are responsible for paying the remaining cost.
(iv) Sending and Receiving Proposal Forms:
Individuals wishing to take advantage of this program should submit a proposal for assistance in international patent filing to the IP Office, using a standard form. Proposal forms will be accepted through May 15, 2020.
Individuals may submit multiple proposal forms. However, due to limited funding, in the year 2020, the IP Office will consider their selections based on the actual demand (Patent applications which have been accepted as valid by the IP Office are preferred and will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis).
According to WIPO statistics for 2018, only eight PCT applications were filed through Vietnam’s IP Office, and only 22 PCT applications had Vietnam as the country of origin. These numbers are expected to rise as Vietnam’s economy and technological capacity continue to develop, and the IP Office is hoping the proactive support offered under the National Program for IP Asset Development, including the assistance offered under Official Letter 5360, will help spur this growth.
For further details on this program, please contact us at [email protected].