Patents, utility solutions and industrial designs

Unlike in the UK, Vietnam distinguishes between patents (sometimes called ‘invention patents’) and utility solution patents (known elsewhere as ‘utility models’ or ‘minor patents’). Rules for utility solution patents are similar to those for invention patents, but the item is not required to demonstrate an ‘inventive step’.

Invention patents give protection for a maximum of 20 years, while utility solution patents are valid for ten years.

Vietnam’s patent law operates under the ‘first to file’ principle – that is, if two people apply for a patent on an identical invention, the first one to file the application will be awarded the patent.

The law gives protection for industrial designs for a maximum of five years, renewable for two consecutive periods of five years.

Under Intellectual Property Law of Vietnam, invention is a technical solution which must be of worldwide novelty, involves inventive steps and is applicable in various social and economic fields.

The subject of invention and utility solution may be a device, process, substance, microorganisms, cell culture, and use thereof in accordance with a new function. Subject shall not be protected as inventions include: plant or animal varieties; method for prevention, diagnosis or treatment of diseases in human being, animals or plants; topographical design of integrated circuits; computer programs.

HTIC provides clients patent services as following:

  • Advise legal matters and the patent-ability of inventions and utility solutions in Vietnam and in abroad;
  • Conduct patent searches and provide information on invention or utility solution, advice measures to protect patent or utility solution in Vietnam and abroad;
  • Complete the applications (including translating, writing patent description, preparing illustrative drawings of patent) and file to register invention license or utility solution;
  • Enforce the invention or utility solution rights, including investigation, supervision, negotiation, mediation, lawsuit initiation to handle infringement in Vietnam and oversea.
  • Advise matters related to maintenance, payment of maintenance fee; recording of all changes of patent application/registrations;
  • Draft, evaluate, register usage or ownership transfer of contracts on invention or utility solution;

Before a new design is launched, or sold in a new country, client company needs to ensure the Intellectual Property protection of industrial design.

HTIC offers industrial design services as following:

  • Look-up, assess and consult possibilities to register industrial design in Vietnam and abroad;
  • Represent clients in applying for certificates of industrial design, record modification, extend degree of industrial protection in Vietnam and abroad;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the certificate of industrial design registration and the possibility of industrial design rights violation;
  • Implement of the protected industrial design rights: investigate, monitor, negotiate, seek arbitration or initiate a lawsuit or request other competent agencies for handling of infringement in Vietnam and abroad;
  • Negotiate, draft, evaluate and register the of changing industrial design ownership in Vietnam and abroad;
  • Advise on building strategies, brand development;