Processing of IP applications at Vietnam IP Office in 2020
In 2020, despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic seriously affected every aspect of life, the number of patent applications filed with the Vietnam IP Office still increased in comparison with that in 2019. In particular, in 2020 the Vietnam IP Office received 8,368 patent/utility solution applications, increased by 3.1% compared to 2019. While the number of patent/utility solution applications filed by foreign applicants decreased by 2%, this number of Vietnamese applicants increased by 35% (1505 patent/utility solution applications in 2020 relative to 1115 applications in 2019).
This situation is also true for the trademark applications. Although the registration of new trademarks was impacted more directly by the overall economic downturn due to the disease outbreak, the number of trademark applications (including both domestic and international trademarks) filed with the Vietnam IP Office was recorded to still increase by 1.6% compared to that in 2019.
With regard to the industrial design applications, the number of new applications filed under the national route reached 3,213 applications, decreased by 8% in comparison with that in 2019. 2020 was the first year that Vietnam accepted international applications of industrial designs registration under the Hague Agreement with 174 Vietnam-designated international applications consisting of 328 industrial designs.
In 2020, thanks to the positive changes in the management system and application handling procedure at the Vietnam IP Office, the total number of IP applications for which the substantive examination was completed and granted protection increased dramatically, which is an amazing breakthrough in comparison with the previous delay. Specifically, the total number of applications for registration of invention/utility solution for which the substantive examination was completed (including both those refused and accepted for protection) reached 7,155 (increased by about 16.1% compared to that in 2019). Especially, the number of patents for registration of invention/utility solution granted in 2020 increased by 57.3% compared to that in 2019. The number of applications for industrial design for which the substantive examination was completed reached 2,869, increased by 2.8% compared to that in 2019. As for trademarks, the number of applications for which the substantive examination was completed (including both national and international applications) increased by 9.7% compared to that in 2019, resulting in the number of certificates of trademark registration granted to increasing by 16.2%. Furthermore, the applications for amendment and assignment were promptly and timely processed; the formality examination of new applications was basically completed in due time.
Currently, the Vietnam IP Office, particularly its Patent Examination Center (PEC), Industrial design Examination Center (IDEC) and Trademark Examination Center (TEC) are focusing on processing applications filed before January 1, 2019 to avoid causing more serious backlog.