On June 16th, 2022 the Vietnamese National Assembly passed the third law amending and supplementing a number of articles to the Law on Intellectual Property (the amended IP Law), that will take effect from January 1st, 2023.

While the first amendment was carried out in 2009, the latest one is dated 2019. The amendments and supplements in 2022 are the most comprehensive revision, with over 100 articles being revised and enhanced.

The aim of the amended IP Law is to meet the requirements of the practice, of the administrative procedure reform, to ensure effective implementation of international commitments on IP in the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that Vietnam had been negotiating or signed.

The contents of the amended IP Law 2022 involve several aspects and herein we provide with a brief summary.

Copyrights and related rights

The amended Law emphasizes five significant points:

  • The rights of the author, performer, phonograms/video records manufacturer, broadcaster; owner of copyrights or related rights and the principles on distributing royalty payment.
  • Amending and clarifying provisions on the limits and exemptions of copyrights and related rights to ensure benefits between rights holders, individuals/organizations exploiting, and the public works for leisure.
  • Modifying and clarifying regulations for an organization with collective representation that has copyrights and related rights following the Civil Code and international practices.
  • Amending regulations for the registration of copyrights and related rights; reissuing, amending, and terminating the copyright and related rights certificates validity.
  • Amending and clarifying copyright and related rights infringement regulations avoids duplication or overlooking such actions, ensuring enforcement and compliance with international commitments.

Industrial property

The modification focuses on six issues:

  • Concerning patents: Amendments and supplements on regulations that refuse to grant protection titles or cancelation of validity of a patent for invention. Amendments and supplements on regulations on the right to apply or use the invention, industrial designs, and designs of a semi-conducting closed-circuit created by the State budget. Supplements on regulations on mechanisms for substantive examination of patent application in the form of shortened procedure.
  • Concerning industrial designs: Amendments on regulations regarding dossier of industrial design application in the direction of simplifying requirements for identifying the design. Supplements on regulations to enable deferment in publishing an industrial design application.
  • Concerning trademarks: Supplements on regulations to the protection of sound mark. Supplements on regulations to manage the conflict between trademarks with and other subject matters, such as names of plant variety names or names under the protection of copyrights and related rights. Supplements on regulations regarding invalidation, cancelation of Certificate of trademark registration.
  • Concerning geographical indications: Supplements on regulation to clarify the possible protection of homonymous geographical indicators. Amendments to regulations on rights of organizations authorized by the state to manage and use geographical indications. Supplements on regulations on the right to apply for foreign geographical indications.
  • Concerning industrial property representation services and industrial property assessment: Amendments and supplements regulation in the direction of ensuring a more open way to create competition in the provision of industrial property representation services (dividing industrial property representatives by sector, loosening the conditions for being granted a license to act of an industrial property representative depending on the fields). Amendments on regulations on assessment in the direction of clearly defining the scopes between IP assessment and judicial IP assessment. clarifying the evidence-based meaning of an IP assessment conclusion).
  • Procedural issues: Amendments and supplements regulations on third-person opinion in the direction of clarifying these opinions into two streams (referential opinions and objective opinions) as the model of other countries to accelerate the process of application examination. Supplements on specific regulations regarding complaints in the field of the industrial property to be consistent with the reality of complaints settlement in this field (it is required to pay a re-examination fee if the contents of the complaint require re-examination. The period for complaining is not applicable if re-examination is required; allowing the submission of complaint via IP representation, etc.).
  • Concerning plant varieties: Amendments focus on supplements on regulations regarding a plants name variety, on supplements on regulations about plant varieties discovered or bred as the result of a science and technology project that the state budget has funded. Amendments and supplements about the scope of rights on plant varieties: temporary rights, limits on ownership of the title owner and violations of rights on plant varieties.

Enforcement of IP rights

The amendments emphasize four issues:

  • Amendments and supplements of regulations concerning the rights to self-protection of right holders (the adding the right to apply technological measures to protect rights and rights administrative information);
  • Supplements for the assumptions of copyrights
  • Supplements regulations on legal liability and immunity, with exemptions for companies who provide agency services which ensure the enforcement of copyrights and related rights within the digital environment;
  • Supplements the proactive measures of custom suspension aligned with suspension at the request of the right holder to strengthen control of counterfeits and compliance with international obligations.

The hope behind the amendments and supplements is that Intellectual Property Law will overcome its inadequacies. Furthermore, it is important to guarantee a satisfactory and effective legal framework to protect and enforce IP rights in Vietnam, as well as a full guarantee of compliance with Vietnam's international agreements, thus ensuring a more developed economy.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.