The panorama picture of IP filings collected by the Vietnam IP Office (VNIPO) in the challenging 2020 is depicted as follows:

1. Trademarks

  • The VNIPO received 2.8% more newly filed applications (both national applications and Madrid applications) than that in 2019.
  • Delay in substantive examination is still substantial, but the VNIPO has put their efforts in increasing the number of examined applications up to 12.9%, and add up 15.5% rise in newly granted registrations - YOY comparison.

It is expected that in 2021, the VNIPO, among others, will implement new search tools on AI platforms as an effort in clearing their huge backlogs in trademark search for substantive examination.

2. Patents

  • The VNIPO received 3.7% more newly filed applications (both inventions and utility solutions) than that in 2019.  There was a 2% drop in the number of applications filed by foreign applicants, but 35% rise when it comes to local applicants.  This is a good sign as it seems that Vietnam's public policies on raising IP awareness and advancing local science and technology have been on the right tracks.
  • 16.1% and 63.2% YOY growth respectively for the number of examined applications and newly granted patents.

3. Designs

  • 2020 is the first year Vietnam receives La Hay/Hague applications for industrial designs protection.  This firsts batch covered 174 applications including 328 designs.
  • The total number of newly filed applications had 6.5% YOY drop.
  • Examiners have completed substantive examination for 2.8% more applications than that in 2019. 

4. Geographical indications (GI)

Despite obstacles of 2020, the number of newly filed GI applications and granted GI registrations have reached a peak in the history of the VNIPO: 22 newly filed applications and 21 newly granted registrations in one year.

By end of 2020, Vietnam has protected 94 GIs, including 88 Vietnamese GIs and 6 foreign GIs (through direct filing procedures with the VNIPO).  In addition, Vietnam has extended protection to 169 European GIs as the EVFTA has taken effects in the country.

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Vietnam is working on a comprehensive amendment of its IP law.  And 2021 is expected to be a pivotal year for the upgrade of Vietnam's IP in implementation of the Vietnam's National IP Strategy by 2030.

Sources: IP VIETNAM