Right to register inventions in Vietnam
According to Vietnam IP Law, the following organizations and individuals shall have the right to register inventions: (a) Authors who have created inventions, industrial designs or layout designs by their own labour and at their own expense; (b) Organizations or individuals who have supplied funds and material facilities to authors in the form of job assignment or hiring, unless otherwise agreed by the parties involved and provided that such agreements are not contrary of Vietnam IP Law.
For clarification purpose, in the case of an inventor who creates a process or item (“the invention”) while employed by a company, the invention is then considered property of the employer of the company, as the employer financed the development through payment of wages and/or provision of materials, tools and workspace to the employee to produce the item in question. In this case, as provided of Vietnam IP Law, the employee(s) shall enjoy some moral rights over invention or design in addition to some remuneration. Moral rights of employee-author(s) are to be named as author in relevant patent letters as well as in any documents in which the invention or design is published or introduced. The minimal remuneration for the employee(s) is stipulated as 10% of benefits obtained from using the invention or design, and 15% of the sum amounted from each royalty for granting a license to use the invention or design, unless otherwise agreed by the parties. There are also instances of patent rights being assigned to the employer when the employee responsible for the patented material was entered into an express contract that assigns the employer the patent rights to their inventions. This sort of contract is normally developed and agreed upon at the beginning of the employees’ time with the company.
Where an invention or industrial design is created by more than one author, the above-mentioned remuneration amount shall be applicable to all authors together. The authors shall settle by themselves the allocation of such remuneration paid by the owner. The obligation to pay remuneration to the author(s) of an invention or industrial design shall last for the whole term of protection of such invention.
According to Vietnam IP Law, where a number of organizations and individuals have jointly created or invested in the creation of an invention, industrial design or layout design, such organizations and individuals shall all have the registration right which may only be exercised with the consensus of all.
Methods of filing an application for registration of establishment of industrial property rights to inventions
Vietnamese entities and individuals, foreign individuals permanently residing in Vietnam, and foreign entities having an industrial or commercial establishment in Vietnam may file patent applications directly or through an IP agency licensed to practice before the IP Office of Vietnam. Foreign individuals not permanently residing in Vietnam and foreign entities having no industrial or commercial establishment in Vietnam shall file applications for patent rights through a licensed IP agency.
Because Vietnam is a member of the PCT, registration can be made directly in Vietnam, or done internationally, following the PCT procedure. Application requirements and approval time may be reduced when applying for an invention patent or utility solution patent via the PCT system, and the application process can be further accelerated by paying an additional fee.