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Vietnam’s Intellectual Property Strategy with a Vision to 2030 – What should be noted?

Intellectual property (“IP”) is a key concern for every business, regardless of where it operates. In an attempt to strengthen the protection of IP Rights, maximizing the benefits of innovation and innovation activities, in August 2019, the Vietnamese government has released Decision No. 1068/QD-TTg on National IP Strategy on Intellectual Property Strategy with a Vision to 2030 with the following main policies:

Policy 1: Completing policies and laws on IP

Policy 2: Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the state management on IP

Policy 3: Focusing on promoting and improving the effectiveness of IP rights enforcement

Decision No. 1068/QD-TTg or National IP Strategy on Intellectual Property Strategy with a Vision to 2030 (“National IP Strategy”) will serve as a guideline for ministries, sectors, and state agencies to adopt IP rights. This is the first time Vietnam has done this as a strategy at national level. Vietnam’s IP system is expected to have great development which creates a driving force for innovation as well as dissemination of creative products, thereby enriching IP assets – a resource of national internal power directly serving for sustainable development.

The Strategy comprises 3 main categories, covering (a) Guiding viewpoints, (b) Objectives, (c) Tasks and solutions, and an appendix assigning some priority tasks to 2025.

1. For direction perspective, the National IP Strategy lays emphasis on making IP an important tool to enhance national competitiveness and promote socio-cultural development by “developing a comprehensive and effective IP system at all stages of creation, establishment, exploitation and protection, enforcement of IPR, creating an environment to encourage innovation, meeting international integration requirements, making IP become an important tool to enhance national competitiveness and promote economic, cultural and social development”. Further, under the National IP Strategy, “IP policies on copyright, related rights, industrial property rights and rights to plant varieties constitute an integral part of economic and literary development strategies and policies, national and sectoral chemistry”. In addition, the Strategy can only be effectively implemented and the IP system can only have great development with active participation of all stakeholders. Thus, it is provided under the Strategy that “IP activities with the active participation of all entities in society, including research institutes, universities, creative individuals, especially role-playing enterprises, leading role in creating and exploiting IP”.

2. With respect to the Objectives, the National IP Strategy sets out 5 objectives as follows:

(i) By 2030, Vietnam will belong to the group of leading ASEAN countries in terms of creation, protection and exploitation of IP rights (IPR);

(ii) Establishment of industrial property rights and plant variety rights should ensure rapidity, transparency, equity and timely meet the needs of enterprises and the society;

(iii) Effectiveness of IPR enforcement should be significantly improved; the status of IP infringement should be considerably decreased;

(iv) New IP assets of Vietnamese individuals and organizations will increase rapidly in quantity and quality; IP-related indicators of Vietnam in the Global Innovation Index (GII) will be substantially improved: number of patent applications and granted protection tiles will grow by an average of 16 – 18% per year; number of industrial design applications will grow by an average of 6-8 % per year; number of trademark applications will grow by an average of 8 – 10% per year; number of applications for protection of plant varieties will grow by an average of 12 -14% per year, 10 – 12% of these applications will be filed abroad, etc.

(v) Effectiveness of IP utilization should be enhanced; number of IP-intensive products: 8-10% patents will be commercially exploited; at least 1 – 2 plant varieties should be exploited abroad; developing a number of IP-intensive industries; number of enterprises effectively using IP tools in their production and business increased significantly; striving for the revenue of cultural industries based on copyright and related rights by 2030 to contribute about 7% of GDP etc.

3. As regards Tasks and Solutions, the National IP Strategy sets out 9 different task groups and solutions. The outstanding Tasks and Solutions directly related to the objective of IP asset development are categorized into two groups as follows:

Firstly, group of tasks and solutions on promoting IP creation. In this group, central state and local administrative agencies will organize implementation of a series of measures to facilitate creative activities in order to increase both of quantity and quality of IP assets:

– Developing and providing IP information tools and services to research institutes, universities and enterprises;

– Using IP indicators as criteria to evaluate performance of research institutes, universities and enterprises.

– Developing and implementing S&T programs; supporting research institutes and universities to cooperate with enterprises to achieve research results which can be protected by IPR;

– Supporting establishment of innovation centers in combination with other forms of venture investment to incubate intellectual assets from the step of conceptualization, research and development of intellectual assets until the step of trial production, start-up formation;

– Guiding enterprises to create and effectively exploit commercial indications for their products and services; support the application for protection of potential geographical indications.

Secondly, the group of tasks and solutions on encouraging and improving the effectiveness of IP exploitation. This group of solutions is designed for achieving objective on improving effectiveness of utilization of IPR and increasing IP contributions to GDP, of which notably:

– Developing a network of IP and technology transfer centers in research institutes, universities and enterprises to promote IP creation and exploitation;

– Supporting research institutes and universities in establishment of enterprises to exploit their IPR, and shorten application process of research results into production and business;

– Promoting implementation of mechanisms and policies to develop IP-intensive industries; create reliable and quality products, and promote export of IP-intensive goods;

– Guiding and supporting enterprises to promote the use of IP tools in production and business; 

– Expanding and improving quality of intermediary services to strengthen the linkage between demand and supply of IP assets; promote the evaluation and audit of IP as a basis for market transactions;

– Enhancing exploitation and analysis of patent information to serve the selection and application of appropriate technology; 

– Strengthening management and effective utilization of geographical indications, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, technical know-how and folklore in order to exploit Vietnamese potential products.

It is obvious that the National IP Strategy is aimed at promoting creation and exploitation of IP assets with top priority activities aimed at facilitating interactions between research institutes, universities and businesses. Research institutes have been given more favorable conditions to boost their research and development capacities. Enterprises and stakeholders have leading role in the exploitation of IP assets and have had opportunities to enjoy mechanisms and policies for promoting and maximizing the exploitation of IP assets, and using IPR as an effective tool for improvement of competitiveness.

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