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Formulation and improvement of intellectual property legislation and policies

Formulation and improvement of intellectual property (IP) legislation and policies is always one of the key tasks in State management of IP of the Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam (IP Viet Nam).

Formulation and improvement of national legislation and policies

Formulation and improvement of intellectual property (IP) legislation and policies is always one of the key tasks in State management of IP of the Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam (IP Viet Nam). In 2019, there were encouraging results in the work of formulation and improvement of IP legislation and policies, including: (i) the National Strategy on Intellectual Property (NSIP); (ii) the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Insurance Business and the IP Law; and (iii) the Dossier of Proposal to formulate the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the IP Law.

Deputy Director Le Ngoc Lam and other participants in the discussion session "How to effectively implement commitments on intellectual property in EVFTA"


The NSIP, which  was formulated by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in close coordination with concerned ministries and agencies as well as the technical assistance of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), was signed by the Prime Minister on August 22, 2019. This is the first time Viet Nam has issued a national strategy of IP, marking a new milestone in this field. This has also affirmed that IP is an important tool to contribute to promoting innovation activities as well as economic, cultural and social development of the country. The IP strategy will be a direction guideline for ministries, agencies and localities to integrate IP content into their State management activities, thereby effectively implementing IP policies in the development of the socio-economy and each branch and field.
Under the shortened order and procedures, the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Insurance Business and the IP Law with the aim of implementing a number of obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement which took effect for Viet Nam from January 14, 2019, was adopted by the XIV National Assembly at the 7th session on June 14, 2019. The law took effect from November 1, 2019. The IP related issues in this law focus on five major subjects, including: online application; patent; trademark; geographical indications and IP rights protection. After the law was enacted, IP Viet Nam held seminars and conferences to disseminate and guide the implementation of policies and regulations for businesses, organisations and individuals nationwide.
Along with the revision of the IP Law to comply with the CPTPP, in 2019 IP Viet Nam continued the process of drafting a proposal to formulate the law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the IP Law to address obstacles and shortcomings after 10 years of implementation, as well as meet the requirements of practice and ensuring compliance with IP obligations in free trade agreements Viet Nam has signed. 
In addition to the above-mentioned policy-making activities, IP Viet Nam also regularly comments on IP content in legal documents drafted by other agencies, in particular: one convention (convention on recognition and enforcement of judgments of foreign courts in civil or commercial fields); three laws (proposal for formulating the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents 2015; Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Investment and Enterprise Law; Law on Mediation, Dialogue at the Court); four decrees (Decree on Providing the penalties on administrative violations in commercial activities, production of, trading in counterfeit or banned goods and protection of consumer right; Decree on preferential and incentive mechanisms and policies for the National Innovation Centre; Decree on amending and supplementing the Decree guiding the implementation of the Law on Civil Judgment Execution; Decree on fertiliser management); 10 circulars (Circular on good labels; Circular on amending and supplementing the Circular on customs value of import and export goods; Circular on the criteria of Vietnam National Brand Program; Circular on management and use of codes, barcodes and tracing of products and goods etc.); and many other legal documents with IP related content.
As the focal point for State management of IP, IP Viet Nam has answered and guided the implementation of IP laws and regulations for agencies and organisations, especially Departments of Science and Technology and businesses. Some main contents are: problems about shortening the period of examination and granting of industrial property protection titles;  registration of IP licensing contracts under Article 148 of the IP Law; changing industrial property representation; solutions to patent applications that do not meet regulations on security control before registering abroad; implementation of laws related to the application for conversion due to invalidation of international trademark registration under Article 9 of the Madrid Protocol, etc.

International policy and legal frameworks

In 2019, international policy and legal frameworks mainly focused on two basic activities: participating in IP negotiations of some free trade agreements (FTA) and preparing for the signing and ratifying process of agreements that have been concluded.
Specifically, for the FTA between Vietnam and the EU (EVFTA), IP Viet Nam completed legal review process for the IP Chapter of the Agreement with Vietnamese law; participated in drafting a report on impact assessment of EVFTA; Coordinated with relevant agencies to organise the EVFTA dissemination conference with the theme "EVFTA - some important commitments in the field of IP and things to notice" etc.
For the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) (between ASEAN and six countries: China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand), IP Viet Nam drafted proposal texts of IP Chapter and participated in six negotiation sessions; drafted proposal texts to finalise the IP Chapter; commented on legal and institutional contents and other contents related to service, non-service and investment market access etc.
For the VN - EFTA FTA (European Free Trade Association Association including Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland), IP Viet Nam commented on reservations of NT exceptions for the non-service sector under the Investment Chapter and participated in one negotiation session.
For the agreement between Vietnam and the United Kingdom, the office provided information to review the implementation of the report of the 10th meeting of Vietnam - UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee; proposed opinions on the draft Vietnam - UK bilateral agreement; and commented on the UK’s feedback after the 3rd Meeting of the Working Group of Trade and Investment Dialogue Vietnam-UK.
For the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, the instrument of accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement was deposited with the Director General of the WIPO by the Minister of Science and Technology on behalf of the Government of Viet Nam on September 30, 2019. The act entered into force in Viet Nam on December 30, 2019.
IP Viet Nam participated in activities to implement the international agreements on IP.It provided information on the IP protection and enforcement in 2019 at the request of the US Embassy in Hanoi (Special Report 301). Besides, IP Viet Nam also commented on the negotiation and accession to a number of international treaties, specifically it commented on the draft report to the Prime Minister on the proposed texts of Vietnam - Israel Agreement and prepared content and attended the meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Area Beyond National Jurisdiction.

IP VIETNAM