On 20th November 2018, the National Office of Intellectual Property (“NOIP”) issued Notice No. 13006/TB-SHTT (“Notice”), revising the timeline for submission of a Power of Attorney (“POA”) document in Vietnam thereby giving practitioners more time to comply with the requirement for their various patent and design filings and procedures.
Prior to the implementation of this Notice, an extension of time for filing the POA document was not available. A POA document had to be submitted within 1 month from the filing date of a patent or design application or within 10 working days from the lodgement date of a request for appeal filed through a legal representative in Vietnam. For an international patent application entering the Vietnamese national phase, the due date for submission of a POA document would be 34 months from its filing date or priority date, in case the patent application has a priority claim.
However, with the recent amendments, practitioners are now given more time to file the POA document. Hence, if a valid POA document is not submitted within the 1 month, the NOIP will issue a Notice of Intended Refusal of a patent or design application or a Notice of Refusal, (collectively termed as “Refusal Notice”) of a request for appeal, indicating therein the requirement to submit a POA. In cases where a POA had been submitted but there are discrepancies, a Refusal Notice will be issued as well.
Practitioners will then be given 2 months to submit a valid POA from the signing date of a Refusal Notice. An extension of time will also be available in accordance with the period set out in the Refusal Notice.
It is important to note that the date of the POA should be on or before the filing date of the application or a request for appeal unless otherwise agreed and stated in the POA document as to when the authorized work being implemented between parties involved becomes operative.
The recent changes are also applicable to various other patent and design procedures and transactions relating to applications for industrial property registration such as international registrations designating Vietnam as well as those which involve protection of titles.
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