The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure officially took effect in Vietnam on June 1, 2021.
Biotechnology is currently considered one of the main pillars of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, playing a vital role in developing the world’s green economy; therefore, biotechnological inventions need to be strongly encouraged. However, the Procedure of Deposit of a biological sample is causing difficulties to applicants of biotechnological patent applications when they use the biological sample to create their inventions.
In particular, under the Vietnamese Intellectual Property (IP) regulations, for inventions relating to biological materials which are indescribable or cannot be described fully to the extent a person skilled in the biotechnology field can carry out the invention, a deposit of the biological material with a competent authority is required. However, such a competent authority must be designated or recognized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). Furthermore, for samples of biological materials deposited at a foreign depository authority, the IP Vietnam may request an applicant to additionally deposit a biological sample at a depository authority in Vietnam if necessary.
With the above regulations, it can see that it is costly for the applicants if having to deposit biological samples many times under the NOIP’s requests. In addition, a list of depository authorities designated or recognized by the MOST is currently unavailable. These problems are solvable as the Budapest Treaty helps simplify the Procedure for Deposit of a microorganism for depositors. Accordingly, patent applicants, including Vietnamese applicants, only need to deposit a microbiological sample once at any International Depositary Authority (IDA) located in the territory of the Contracting States, and only make a one-time deposit payment. As a result, the applicant shall have the date of deposit recorded, the deposit of the microorganism recognized, and the viability and growth of the deposited microorganism certified by all Member States.
Joining the Budapest Treaty is of great significance for Vietnam, namely, it encourages investment and research for developing biotechnology in Vietnam, as well shows the implementation of Vietnam’s commitments when participating in Agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Agreement between Vietnam and Switzerland on the Intellectual Property Protection and Cooperation in the Intellectual Property field in 1999.