New Guideline for Examination of Patent Applications in Vietnam
On March 31, 2010, the Director General of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam signed Decision No. 487/QD-SHTT promulgating a new Guideline for Examination of Patent Applications in Vietnam. This Guideline comes into effect immediately.

In applying the Code of Intellectual Property Law 2005 (as amended in 2009), the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam had just released a new Guideline for Examination of Patent Applications. This Guideline replaces the previous Guidelines, namely the Guideline for Examination as to form and Publication of Patent Applications No. 1111/QCPL dated December 16, 1998 and Guideline for Patent Examination No. 380/XNSC dated October 10, 1992 of the NOIP. The new Guideline had come into effect immediately. All pending patent appliations will be examined in accordance with this new Guideline.

Up to date, there is still no official English translation of this Guideline.

Aiming at bringing the Vietnamese patent law in conformity with with the international standards, the new Guideline is more detailed than the older Guidelines, integrating certain aspects of the Guidelines of some leading patent offices around the world. It is observed however that the first part of the Guideline, dealing with examination as to form of patent applications, is more comprehensive than that of the second part dealing with examination as to substance. Also, a couple specific point borrowed from foreign Guideline did not match the current local patent law, and could well render conflicting intepretation.

This should be noted that Vietnam is a civil law country, and no precedent is integrated into the Guideline. Thus, in some aspects of examination as to substance, the guideline merely provides for general requirements rather than going into intepreting the law at any level.

After Guideline for Examintion of Industrial Design Appliations, this is the second examination guideline promulgated by the NOIP in applying the IP Code 2005.

For any further details of the examination guidelines, please feel free to contact us.

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