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Guide to Intellectual Property in Vietnam

Guide to Intellectual Property in Vietnam

Intellectual property (IP) is a key concern for every business, regardless of where they operate. This is equally true in Vietnam; Although the country is a party to many IP conventions, there are many reasons for foreign companies to work there to closely monitor IP violations. Therefore, it is important for foreign investors to have an understanding of how IP operates in Vietnam and what it can recover if they handle their own property violations.

IP history in Vietnam

In 2005, the Vietnam National Assembly passed and passed the Law on Intellectual Property (IPR); This law was later amended and supplemented in 2009.

In September 2010, in an attempt to strengthen the protection of property rights after signing a Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) with us and joining the World Trade, the Vietnamese government Nam has issued stricter administrative sanctions for industrial property rights violations, along with a number of important changes to intellectual property regulations in Vietnam.

In addition to local laws, Vietnam also participates in international IP conventions like the Paris Convention for the Protection of Commercial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Rome Convention, trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) Agreement, World Intellectual Property Organization, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Madrid Protocol and recently signed Hague agreement.

Understanding of IP in Vietnam

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), IP is defined as creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; design; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce.

There are two sorts of IP: registered and unregistered. For registered IP, you must register to be accredited your rights at an official IP organization, such as the Office of Intellectual Property in the United Kingdom. Registered IP types include patents and registered trademarks. For unregistered IPs, you automatically have IP rights to your creation. Unregistered IP types include copyright, common law marks and database rights, confidential information and trade secrets.

Since Vietnam joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2007, the country had to meet the minimum IP standards set by that organization – this also means that the IP in Vietnam has many points. similar to IP in more developed countries. Therefore, Vietnam has divided its IP system into three areas:

  • Copyrights and related rights – administered by the Vietnam Copyright Office;
  • Industrial property rights – administered by the Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP); and
  • Rights to Plant Varieties – Administered by the Plant Variety Protection Office.

NOIP plays the role of the chief coordinator and the agency, under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology, which performs functions of performing state management and providing services in the field of IP. This includes managing the registration of industrial designs, trademarks, trademarks, and other industrial property rights and conducting basic legal due diligence to resolve intellectual property disputes.

Before diving into the specifics of each type of IP, it is worth noting that the Paris Convention’s priority rights can assist in the registration of local patents, designs, and trademarks by authorizing rights. previously registered in Vietnam takes effect. However, this must be completed within the prescribed time limit.


Copyright registration is done at the National Copyright Office. IP copyright also applies to computer programs that cannot be patented. The Vietnamese copyright IP is governed by the Berne Convention on copyright, which states that the minimum protection against publication will be:

75 years for cinematographic works, photographic works, impressive works, applied artworks, and anonymous works; and
50 years after the author’s death for other works
Although there is no requirement for copyright registration in Vietnam, most patent experts ask for copyright registration with the country’s copyright office.


Vietnamese Patent Law Vietnam operates on the first principle to establish the principle. The national distinction of patent and utility solution patent:

  • Patents are protected for up to 20 years;
  • Utility patents have maximum protection of 10 years; and
  • The industrial design has a maximum protection of five years (however, this can be reproduced in two successive periods of five years).

Registration of individual patents (such as designs and industrial inventions) must take place in Vietnam. However, for patent rights for things other than industrial designs, applications can be handled under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.


The trademark system in Vietnam protects symbols, three-dimensional objects, colors, and other visual devices used to identify an enterprise’s product or service. Commercial rights are established through use instead of being officially registered. For online domain names, they are handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • The brand lasts 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely for the next ten years; and
  • Registration may take up to 15 months to complete.

Trademarks can be registered in Vietnam or using the Madrid Protocol.

Enforcement of intellectual property rights

Companies seeking to enforce intellectual property rights in Vietnam have three options:

  • Administrative action;
  • Civil Court; and
  • Criminal prosecution.

Most IP disputes are handled through administrative action. Possible actions that may be taken by relevant government agencies include giving warnings, fines, seizure or destruction of counterfeit goods, etc.

However, Vietnamese government agencies have struggled to keep pace with changes in the law. Therefore, many of the best ways to solve IP problems in Vietnam are good defenses so attack action will only need to be taken rarely.

Defensive actions include ensuring employment contracts have clear IP-related terms, seeking to bypass production (which could be an indication that your products are being sold where Other), talk to other foreign businesses in the same field of activity to learn best practices, and register your IP rights.

As part of the Vietnam-European Union Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to take effect soon, Vietnam will have to tighten its laws on intellectual property protection. In addition, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is pushing Vietnam to meet high standards of intellectual property rights.

Vietnam is serious about protecting intellectual property rights

Shows that Vietnam is taking IP seriously, issued Decree No. 22/2018 / ND-CP in April 2018, updated guidelines and many articles focusing on copyright under the Civil Code and the Law Intellectual Property. Recently, in April 2020, the IP Office issued an Official Letter No. 5360 / SHTT-NDHT on supporting individuals applying for international patents.

In August 2019, the Vietnamese government also issued Decision No. 1068 / QD-TOT or the National IP Strategy on IP strategy with a vision to 2030. This document will be a guide. for ministries, agencies, and state agencies to apply IP rights – this is the first time Vietnam has implemented this as a national strategy.

As Vietnam becomes more globally integrated, partly through free trade agreements, intellectual property rights will become an even more important factor in the way organizations view the business environment. business in Vietnam, especially as the country’s economy and technology continue to grow. Fortunately, Vietnam is keen to develop and work under its IP law to help promote it further in the global economy.

Source: VNB

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