Frequent Asked Questions related to Industrial Design

  • What is an industrial design?

    Under Vietnam laws, “an industrial design is the external appearance of a product, which is manifested by means of contours, three-dimensional form or color, or a combination of these elements,and which is of a new character in the world and used as prototype for manufacturing handicrafts and industrial products”.

  • Is there any classification system for industrial design applications?

    Yes. Although not yet a contracting party of Locarno Union, Vietnam does adopt the International Classification of industrial designs.

  • Is there any exclusion from registration?

    Yes. Following cannot be registered.

    • External appearance of a product which is easily created by a person of average professional knowledge in the relevant field;
    • External appearance which results naturally from the technical specifications of products or which only bears technical specifications;
    •  External appearance of civil or industrial construction work;
    • Appearance of a product which cannot be seen whilst in use;
    • Appearance of a product which only has an aesthetic use.

  • What is required for filing an industrial design application in Vietnam?

    For filing a design application in Vietnam, the following information and documentation are required:

    1. 5 sets of photos/drawings of front, back, top, bottom, left, right and perspective views of the design;
    2. Description of the design;
    3. A Power of Attorney;
    4. Full name, address and nationality of the Inventor(s) and Applicant(s);
    5. A certified true copy of the basis application if claiming convention priority.

    More detail can be found here.

  • Is it possible to claim priority when filing industrial design application in Vietnam?

    Yes. A the applicant can claim priority the basis of the Paris Convention provided that the Vietnamese application is filed within 6 months from the filing date of 1st application.

  • When and how does an industrial design lose its novelty?

    An industrial design lose its novelty when:

    • it appears in a publication distributed in home country and elsewhere in the world;
    • it is publicly known in home country and elsewhere in the world;
    • it is used, registered or published in home country and elsewhere in the world.

  • Is it possible to include two or more designs in one registration?

    No. Separate application is required for each design. However, one application may cover similar designs of the same product.

  • Does substantial examination exist in the process of an industrial design application?

    Yes. Industrial design applications are first examined as to formality within one month. If the application meets all the filing requirements, it will proceed to the substantive examination process.

  • Is there any publication system?

    Yes. Publication is first made after the application passed the formal examination and the 2nd time after a patent is granted.

  • Is it possible to file an opposition action?

    Yes. An opposition can be filed at any time during the pendency of the application or within 5 years after granted.

  • How long will it normally take to obtain final registration?

    It usually takes about 9 to 15 months from the filing date.

  • What is the term for a design patent?

    The term a design patent is 5 years from the accepted filing date and can be extended twice for 5 years each.

  • What is the scope of the right provided by a design patent?

    The right of a design patent extends to the same and/or similar design of the same article.

  • Is it possible to invalidate/cancel a design registration?

    Yes. Invalidation or cancellation action can be lodged before the IP Vietnam by any party. Reasons for invalidation or cancellation are:

    • Lack of novelty;
    • The owner of the registration has no right to apply for registration of the design;
    • The owner of the registration fails to pay post registration maintenance fees.

  • What constitutes infringement to a registered design right?

    The acts which constitute an infringement of a registered industrial design are: manufacturing, sale, transportation, importation, and exportation, advertisement for sale of products showing the design which is identical with and/or similar to the registered design.