A patent is a document identifying exclusive right granted by the state to the inventor or person having the right to an invention which is new, not obvious, and industrially applicable. In Vietnam, an invention may be protected under two types of patents.
A patent for invention having long-term protection of up to 20 years is granted to an invention, which meets the requirements of novelty, inventive step, and industrial application.
A patent for utility solution with the protection of up to 10 years is granted for an invention which is not of common knowledge and has novelty and industrial application. This kind of patent is known as patent for utility model or petty patent.
To obtain a patent, an application must be filed at the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP). The application must relate to only one invention or to a group of inventions linked to form a single general inventive concept. Patent protection in Vietnam is based on the “first to file” principle. This means a patent will be granted to the first person to file the patent application.
Patent protection in Vietnam is currently governed by the Intellectual Property Law enacted in 2005 and Decrees Nos. 103/2006/CP, 105/2006/CP, 106/2006/CP dated September 22, 2006, promulgated by Vietnamese government, Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN dated February 14, 2007 of Ministry of Science and Technology, and the NOIP’s Decisions. In addition, the Vietnamese patent system is bound by WIPO treaties comprising WIPO convention, Paris convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty, and bi- or multilateral treaties.