On September 8, 2015, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) issued Notification No. 8450/TB-SHTT officially recognizing the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) as an International Searching Authority (ISA), and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the PCT.
The NOIP’s decision is believed to create more opportunities and convenience to the Vietnamese entities and individuals who use PCT international filing system to seek patent protection in foreign countries. In detail, Vietnamese applicants now have one more option of ISA and IPEA to apply to their PCT applications in addition to the Intellectual Property Offices of Australia, Russia, Sweden, Republic of Korea, Japan and the European Patent Office which were previously recognized by the NOIP.
PCT patent applicantions filed in Vietnam, Mexico, Brunei, Japan and Laos will be the first to gain access to Singapore’s new service as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority in the coming months. These arrangements were set out under bilateral agreements signed during the IP Week in Singapore this past August.
Previously, at the 46th session of the Assembly of the PCT Union (PCT Assembly) held in Geneva during the period from September 22 to 30, 2014, the Assembly appointed the IPOS as an ISA and IPEA under the PCT. Late August 2015, IPOS did notify the WIPO that it would officially begin operations as ASEAN’s first ISA and IPEA from September 1, 2015.
For information regarding relevant service fees of IPOS or other National IP Offices that have been recognized as an ISA or IPEA, please see updates at http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/appguide/index.jsp