As the Covid-19 situation in Vietnam has not improved since the beginning of August 2021, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IP Office) has issued Notice No. 8181/TB-SHTT dated September 9, 2021 (Notice 8181), providing a further two-month extension for IP deadlines.
The contents of Notice 8181 are similar to those found in notices issued in March 2020 and August 2021. One notable difference is the addition of the term “such as” (“như” in Vietnamese) to the list of IP procedures eligible for the extension, implying that this is now an open list:
All procedures related to the establishment of industrial property rights (such as priority claims, supplementation of documents, responses to the IP Office’s decisions/notifications, annuities, renewal of the validity of protection titles, payment of fees and charges, and filing of appeal petitions) falling due during the period from June 30, 2021, to the end of October 31, 2021, will automatically be extended to the end of November 30, 2021.
For other cases, if an applicant is still affected by the Covid-19 epidemic with regard to the implementation of its rights and obligations in the procedures for establishing rights to industrial property objects at the IP Office, such applicant may request [the IP Office] to apply the clauses on objective obstacles and force majeure as set out in Points 9.4 and 9.5 of Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN, as amended and supplemented by Circular No. 16/2016/TT-BKHCN.
It is our interpretation from Notice 8181 that procedures related to the establishment of industrial property rights that are not specifically listed in the notice, such as IP filings and substantive examination requests, will also benefit from the new extension. However, there has not been any official explanation from the IP Office.