Eligibility for patent protection in Vietnam
An invention shall be eligible for protection in the form of the grant of an invention patent in Vietnam when it satisfies 03 (three) conditions: (a) It is novel; (b) It is of an inventive nature; (c) It is susceptible of industrial application.
(i) Novelty of inventions: To meet the standard of novelty, inventions must not have been disclosed publically either inside Vietnam or elsewhere prior to the filing date (or ‘priority date’ if an application has already been made within 12 months in another Paris Convention member state). There are however some exceptional circumstances where a patent may still be granted even where the invention has been previously disclosed:
- If the person who previously disclosed the invention did not have the right to register the patent
- If the invention was disclosed by the applicant in the form of a scientific report
- If the applicant displayed the invention at a national exhibition in Vietnam or another officially recognised international exhibition
(ii) Inventive nature of inventions: An invention is deemed as being ‘inventive’ if the invention constitutes an inventive process, and cannot easily be created by a person with average knowledge in the relevant field. Assessments are made taking into account technical solutions that have already been publically disclosed prior to the filing (or priority) date.
(iii) Inventions which are susceptible of industrial application (or industrial applicability): ‘Industrial applicability’ is defined as being capable of mass manufacture/production of the product or repeat application of the inventive process, in a way which achieves stable results.
Ineligibility for patent protection in Vietnam
According to Vietnam IP Law, for inventions, the following shall be exempted from protection under the current IP Law:
(i) discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods;
(ii) schemes, plans, rules and methods for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games, doing business; computer programs;
(iii) presentations of information;
(iv) aesthetic solutions;
(v) plant varieties, animal varieties;
(vi) essentially biological processes for the production of plants and animals except microbiological processes; and
(vii) preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic methods for treatment on the human or animal body