On June 6, 2020, in Dong Hoi City, Quang Binh Province, the Patent Examination Center (PEC) of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) held a Dialogue on "Improvement of the Examination Regulation for Patent Applications” and “To build up a Quality Management System for Patent application examination”.
Attending the Dialogue were Mr. Dinh Huu Phi – Director General NOIP, Mr. Phan Ngan Son - Deputy Director General, NOIP, representatives of a number of units in the NOIP, officials of PEC and IP experts.
Dr. Dinh Huu Phi, Director General NOIP, made opening speech at the Dialogue
According to the NOIP’s statistics, the number of patent applications filed with the NOIP in 2019 was 8,119, showed an increase of 22.5% compared to 2018, in which Vietnamese patent applications were 1,128, increased by 42%. The performance of patent application processing in 2019 also increased by 45.8% compared to 2018. However, the application backlog is still large and tends to increase in coming years as the number of applications processed annually is lower than the number of applications filed with the NOIP.
The management and handling patent applications, starting from how to deal with applications filed till to grant or to reject to grant protection titles is currently guided by the Examination Regulation for Patent Applications, that was developed and issued by the NOIP on March 31, 2010. Over the past ten years, while the IP Law and other relevant laws have been amended and supplemented 1-2 times, the Examination Regulation has not been reviewed and updated.
Along with an increasing number of applications received andneed to be handled each year, the backlog status has not decreased, and the quality of application examination has also been questioned. The urgent need for speeding up the application examination process makes patent examiners at NOIP more likely to make mistakes, making the quality of this process decreased. There has been an opinion that the NOIP should have an effective system, if possible, operates independently, for controling the quality of application examination process, not only for patent but also for trademarks and industrial design applications. And the NOIP’s examiners should also be given an adequate time to regularly update/improve their knowledge and their skills in handling applications as well as in mastering the WIPO IPAS patent management system.
The above Dialogue is one of the preparatory steps to amend and supplement the Examination Regulation for Patent Applications in the coming year.