How to speed up the patent process in Vietnam
Applicant’s huge interest when filing a patent application in Vietnam is early granting. Due to the backlog problem of IP Vietnam, the examination process is often prolonged. Generally, the average time to obtain a patent in Vietnam is approximately three to five years.
Thus, in this article, we recommend several ways that you can take to speed up the patent process in Vietnam.
- Early publication:
An application under the Paris convention route shall be published in the 19th month from its priority date. An applicant may submit a written request for early publication, which can help a patent application be examined from its publication date if filing a substantive examination request before the publication date of the patent application.
- Request for early National Phase Entry for a PCT application:
There are some cases where the PCT applications have just entered into the National Phase of Vietnam early, and they have not been published in the international phase yet. Therefore, in order for a PCT application to be examined as to formality before the 32nd month from the priority date in the national phase, an applicant is advised to submit a written request for early National Phase Entry.
However, in practice, a patent application is examined as to formality only if the publication of its corresponding PCT application is available in the international phase. Thus, an applicant should actively provide information on the international publication of a PCT application with IP Vietnam right after a PCT application is published in the international phase.
- Early request for substantive examination
The time limit for filing a request for substantive examination is 42 months for inventions and 36 months for utility solutions counted from the priority date or the filing date (in case of no priority claimed). It is advisable to file a request for substantive examination as soon as possible, preferably on the filing date, so as to allow starting the substantive examination soon.
- Corresponding patent
Article 15.2 a) of Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN clearly states that IP Vietnam may use the result of the examination of a corresponding application filed overseas when conducting the substantive examination. In practice, Vietnamese examiners often rely on the examination results for equivalent foreign applications issued by prestigious patent offices such as the USPTO, EPO, JPO, KIPO, CNIPA, etc. when assessing Vietnamese applications.
Therefore, an applicant had better voluntarily amend their claims in conformity with those of the corresponding patent, in order to facilitate the patent examination.
- Follow special programs to speed up examination:
Currently, the IP Vietnam is deploying three programs for accelerating the examination of patent applications, those are:
- The PPH program between IP Vietnam & JPO
- The PPH program between IP Vietnam & KIPO
- ASPEC program
An applicant can choose one of these programs if their patent application meets the requirements of the program.
It is found that these programs, especially the PPH programs, are highly effective in accelerating patent examinations in Vietnam. Please review our article on these programs here.
- Communication with Examiners:
Vietnamese patent attorneys (or an applicant) can actively interview Vietnamese examiners in a face-to-face conversation, a telephone interview, or an email exchange through which examiners and Vietnamese patent attorneys (or an applicant) may discuss the effective ways to obtain patentability of the application, such as the possibility for grant in case of amending to the corresponding patent.
An applicant can speed up their patent application in several ways we have listed above. We find that the best way is the combincation of conformation to corresponding patent and a PPH program.
WINCO is now a prominent intellectual property law firm in Vietnam. With excellent lawyers, attorneys, and engineers who have profound knowledge and immense experience in diversified fields, we efficiently assist clients in achieving their Intellectual Property demands.