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Term of protection of utility solutions in Vietnam

In business practice, to protect their inventions and useful solutions from competitors, businesses often register for exclusive protection of useful solutions with authorities. However, many businesses, after registering for protection, still do not understand the term of protection of utility solutions in Vietnam. In this article, Viet An Law will explain this issue more clearly.

Utility Solutions

Legal basis

  • Law on Intellectual Property 2005, as amended and supplemented in 2009, 2019, 2022.
  • Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN guiding the implementation of Decree 103/2006/ND-CP guiding the implementation of the Intellectual Property Law on industrial property, amended and supplemented by Circular 16/2016/TT-BKHCN.
  • Decree 65/2023/ND-CP guiding the Intellectual Property Law on industrial property.

Some concepts related to term of protection of utility solutions in Vietnam

What is the useful solution?

A useful solution is a product, it can be expressed in many different forms. It can be a physical product, such as machinery, equipment, components, or a chemical product, such as materials, substances, foods, and pharmaceuticals. In addition, the utility solution may also include processes, such as technological processes, diagnostic methods, forecasting, testing, processing, production, or manufacturing. It is important that this solution is specific and feasible to solve a specific problem.

Distinguishing between utility solutions and patents in Vietnam

Criteria Utility solution Patent
Form of protection Can be protected as a utility solution patent May be protected as a patent
Protection conditions To be protected as a utility solution, a utility solution must meet the following conditions:

  • Not common knowledge;
  • Novelty;
  • Capable of industrial application;
To be protected as a patent, an invention must meet the following conditions:

  • Novelty;
  • Creativity;
  • Capable of industrial application;
Examination period 36 months from the date of application 42 months from the date of application
Protected subject matter Product or solution Product or process

Procedures for registration of utility solutions protection

In order for the registration of patent protection for useful solutions to take place quickly and smoothly, businesses need to pay attention to following the following order:

Step 1: Research the protection ability of the utility solution

Before applying for patent protection for a utility solution, businesses and inventors need to conduct a search on the website of the National Office of Intellectual Property or the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This will avoid causing conflicts over intellectual property rights, and avoid wasting time and unnecessary legal procedures when disputes arise.

Step 2: Prepare documents and submit them

Individuals, organizations, and businesses that want to register for patent protection of utility solutions need to prepare documents including:

  • Protection registration declaration;
  • Description of utility solutions (including scope of protection);
  • Helpful solution summary;
  • Proof of payment of fees and charges when submitting the application for utility solution registration;
  • Document confirming registration rights (if beneficiary from someone else)
  • Documents proving priority rights (if priority is requested).

After preparing the above documents, individuals, organizations, and businesses can apply through the following forms:

  • Send by post or apply directly to NOIP headquarters.
  • Use the services of an intellectual property representative organization like Viet An Law to make the filing as quick, easy, and effective as possible.

The NOIP is headquartered in Hanoi and has representative offices in Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang. Submit your application as early as possible to ensure your registration priority date.

Step 3: Formality examination of the application

After receiving the dossier, the NOIP will check the dossier to ensure compliance with formal regulations. The validity period is 1 month from the date of receipt of the request. If the dossier is invalid, the NOIP will notify and set a time limit of 2 months to correct or respond.

Step 4: Publication of the application

If the utility solution registration application is valid, the application will be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette.

Step 5: Substantial examination of the application

Valid documents will be assessed for substantial examination. The NOIP will consider the subject’s ability to be protected based on the protection conditions.

Step 6: Obtain a registration certificate

After the qualified application is accepted, the applicant must pay the granting fee and will receive a utility solution registration certificate.

Term of protection of utility solutions

According to the provisions of Clause 3, Article 93 of the current Intellectual Property Law, the term of protection for a utility solution is ten (10) years from the date of issue.

Thus, the useful solution protection period only lasts 10 years. To optimize the effectiveness of useful solutions, individuals, organizations, and businesses need to balance and have a plan to use and exploit that useful solution most effectively.

In addition, according to the provisions of the current Intellectual Property Law, every year the owner of a utility solution protection certificate will have to pay a fee to maintain the validity of the protection certificate in order to continue using the protection certificate. The owner of the protection title can pay maintenance fees for 10 years. After 10 years, the owner of the protection title will no longer be able to pay maintenance fees due to out of the prescribed protection period.

Regarding the cost of maintaining and using the utility solution protection certificate, clients can refer to the details below:

Name Fees
Information disclosure fee 120,000 VND
Information registration fee 120,000 VND
Examination fee required to maintain 160,000 VND
Fee for use of protection certificate per year Year 1 300,000 VND
Year 2 300,000 VND
Year 3 500,000 VND
Year 4 500,000 VND
Year 5 800,000 VND
Year 6 800,000 VND
Year 7 1,200,000 VND
Year 8 1,200,000 VND
Year 9 1,800,000 VND
Year 10 1,800,000 VND

Thus, to maintain the validity of the utility solution protection certificate, clients need to pay attention to paying fees to maintain the validity of the certificate to avoid cases where the certificate’s validity is not maintained.

Some frequently asked questions about utility solution protection term

How long is the time limit for the application and protection certificate maintenance fee?

According to current regulations, in order to maintain the validity of a utility solution protection certificate, individuals, organizations, and businesses wishing to submit documents and protection fees must submit applications and protection fees within 06 months of the end date of the validity period.

Procedures for maintaining validity can be carried out later than the deadline specified above, but must not exceed 06 months from the end of the previous validity period and the protection title owner must pay an additional 10% late maintenance fee for each month of late payment.

What does the dossier to maintain the validity of a protection certificate include?

According to current regulations, documents to maintain the validity of a protection certificate include:

  • Declaration according to Form No. 07 in Appendix II of Decree 65/2023/ND-CP;
  • Power of Attorney for the implementing organization or Power of Attorney for the individual (in case the request is submitted through a representative);
  • Copy of fee payment voucher.

Customers with needs related to intellectual property law, patent protection, and utility solution protection, please contact Viet An Law Firm for the best support!

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