Pham Vu Khanh Toan, Managing Partner at Pham & Associates, explores patent prosecution in Vietnam by explaining the current laws and practices in the country.
Vietnamese IP Law recognizes two kinds of patents: invention patents and utility solution patents. Under the law, “an invention shall be protected by an invention patent” if it is new, involving an inventive step and susceptible of industrial application, while the invention “shall be protected by a utility solution patent” if it is not of common knowledge and it is new and susceptible of industrial application. During the prosecution of a pending patent application, the applicant is allowed to convert the application for an invention patent into an application for utility solution patent and vice versa. The term of a patent for invention is twenty (20) years while that for utility solution patent is ten (10) years starting from the filing date.
The inventor(s) who have created the invention by his or her own efforts and expenses shall be entitled to apply for and be granted a patent. In the case that an invention is created by an employee during the performance of his/her duties, the right to obtain a patent for the invention will belong to the employer (unless agreed otherwise). The inventor in such cases will be entitled to remuneration.