Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Filing procedures for intellectual property rights need simplifying

According to the National Office of Intellectual Property, the number of patent applications in Vietnam averages 300 a year, and only one fifth of applications are granted patents.

Many inventors say one of the main reasons they are reluctant to file for intellectual property rights is the complexity of administrative procedures, especially those related to writing patent descriptions.

This process is judged as extremely complicated and has forced many inventors to apply over and over again before they could finalise their applications.

Another obstacle is high filing fees, at about VND2-3 million (US$90-135) for a brand and VND20-30 million (US$900-1,350) for a patent.

Moreover, with a long waiting time averaging two to three years, many enterprises would miss their business opportunities and face unfair competition during that time.

Even though their rights are protected under the law, many companies still have to struggle with fake goods so swamping the market that it is nearly impossible for the competent authorities to deal with them.

The heaviest fine is only VND500 million (US$22,500), while profits from making fake goods can amount to billions of Vietnamese dong; for that reason, many accept being fined if they are found violating intellectual property rights.

The capacity of law enforcement agencies in Vietnam remains weak and they are rather confused about what to do in practice.

Many are aware that their rights are being infringed upon, but they do not want to pursue costly and time-consuming litigation.

As a result, even when a case of intellectual property infringement is uncovered, competent agencies lack a basis on which to deal with them, which means such infringement continues to be rampant.

That is the main reason individuals and enterprises are not very keen on protecting their intellectual property rights.

Such a reality requires the competent agencies to create a legal framework in keeping with reality to facilitate applications for intellectual property rights.

A mechanism is needed to support inventors financially and in writing descriptions for their patents, while it is also necessary to amend the law on intellectual property and related legislation to strengthen sanctions against infringement and make it easier for patent-holders to pursue legal action.

Another measure is spreading knowledge on intellectual property so that scientists and inventors can look up information and avoid patents that have already been registered.

Only when these measures are taken can applications for and the protection of intellectual property rights be promoted, and only then will enterprises and scientists be able to protect themselves once the Trans-Pacific Partnership, to which Vietnam is a member, comes into effect.

Source nhandan.org.vn

Accession to the PCT by Cambodia

cambodia-PCTCambodia acceded as the 151st member to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) on 8 September 2016. The PCT will come into force in Cambodia since 8 December 2016. It means that PCT patent applications can be filed in Cambodia national phase since 8 December 2016.

As you may be aware, the PCT came into existence in 1970 and has been subsequently amended for several times. In 1978, the PCT came into effect with only 18 contracting states but has grown over the last 38 years into a sizable system with the total number of 151 members. The purpose of the PCT is to streamline the initial filing process, making it easier and cost effective to file a patent application in a large number of countries. The PCT process consists of two main phases. The first phase, i.e. international phase, begins with the filing of an international application. The second phase, i.e. national phase, consists in that the international application enters countries where the applicant wants to seek a patent and is examined under the national patent laws.

We note that the duration for a PCT patent application to enter Cambodia national phase is 30 months computed from the priority date. The procedures and the process for prosecuting a PCT patent application in Cambodia national phase are basically the same as those for a general patent application there.

Should you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to let us know.

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Vietnam attends 56th WIPO General Assemblies

Vietnam is participating in the fifty-sixth series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 3-11.

At the 56th WIPO General Assemblies

Speaking at the opening ceremony, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said the organisation had contributed to protecting intellectual property (IP) over the past year.

Representatives of 189 member countries will discuss difficulties in the field, he added, naming “complexity” as the major challenge.

“The nature of intellectual property itself and its role in an economy in which value resides increasingly in intellectual assets, and in which technology and innovation are developing at accelerating speeds, is now inherently more complex”, he said.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology and Director General of the National Office of Intellectual Property Tran Viet Thanh said Vietnam welcomes the accomplishments that WIPO has gained and believes the organisation is the international leader in creating political forums to build global IP systems.

Vietnam vows to play an active role in setting an effective IP rights protection in the country and hopes to co-operate with the WIPO and its partners in the years to come, he said.

The Southeast Asian nation also wants to receive WIPO assistance in building a national IP strategy and participate in international IP treaties.

On the sidelines of the event, the Vietnamese delegation had bilateral meetings with partners from Singapore, Australia, the US, the European Patent Office, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the French National Institute of Industrial Property.

At a separate meeting with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, Deputy Minister Thanh thanked the organisation for helping Vietnam improve its IP human resources and infrastructure.

Source dtinews.vn

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