Just like other types of intellectual property, industrial designs are only valid Vietnam in which the owner has obtained a registration. Article 6.3(a) of the IP Law of Vietnam concerning “grounds for the generation and establishment of intellectual property rights” provides that: [ Industrial property rights shall be established as follows: (a) Industrial property rights to … industrial design…shall be established on the basis of a decision of the competent State body to grant a protection title in accordance with the registration procedures stipulated in this Law or the recognition of international registration pursuant to an international treaty of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member ]. If you are looking to get protection outside of Vietnam, you will need to register separately with that country’s or region’s intellectual property office.
As Vietnam is a signatory to the Paris Convention, Vietnamese applicants are entitled to a six-month convention priority period to file a corresponding application in other jurisdictions. What that means in practice is that, when you file in other countries within six months of your original filing date, the filing date of that application will be deemed to be the same as your filing date in Vietnam, putting you ahead of similar applications from others in that jurisdiction who may have filed in the intervening period.
A search of existing industrial designs may be conducted prior to filing an industrial design application through the online industrial design database on the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) website. This can help you determine if your design has already been registered by another.
Although NOIP makes this database available online, they will not help you determine whether your design is registrable in advance of filing an application. As such, you may consider entrusting an IP agent licensed to practice before the NOIP to determine if your design is registrable before filing an industrial design application.
If your design has already been publicly disclosed, you must file an application within six months of the earliest disclosure date to potentially obtain design protection in Vietnam. Notes that under Article 65.4 of the IP Law of Vietnam, an industrial design shall be deemed not to have lost its novelty if it is published in the following cases, provided that the application for registration of the industrial design is filed within six (6) months from the date of publication: (a) It is published by another person without permission from the person having the right to register it as defined in article 86 of this Law; (b) It is published in the form of a scientific presentation by the person having the right to register it as defined in article 86 of this Law; (c) It is displayed at a national exhibition of Vietnam or at an official or officially recognized international exhibition by the person having the right to register it as defined in article 86 of this Law.
As part of your application, you will be expected to provide clear and detailed drawings or photographs of your design and a description of what constitutes the design as part of the application. The title of the application must also identify the article to which the industrial design is applied.
Once issued, notes that under Article 93.4 of the IP Law of Vietnam, an industrial design patent shall be valid from the grant date until the end of five (5) years after the filing date and may be renewed for two consecutive terms, each of five (5) years.
Applications must be filed with the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP). Upon receipt, the NOIP will stamps its seal (with application number and filing date) on the application. For industrial design filing, the following documents must be provided:
- Name, address and nationality of applicant and designer;
- Photographs/drawings of front, rear, left, right, top, bottom and perspective views of industrial design (electronic format);
- Certified priority document, if claimed. Priority data (application number, filing date, country) is required at filing;
- Signed Power of Attorney from applicant appointing KF as his/her patent agent in Vietnam;
- Signed Deed of Assignment, requested only if:
(i) Applicant is individual not the designer; or
(ii) Applicant is organization not the applicant stated in priority application.