Deputy PM urges intellectual property reforms hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) for radical reforms to better promote scientific and technological innovations in Vietnam.

“Simplified procedures could encourage more inventors to register for IP rights protections,” he said when visiting NOIP this week.

Organisations, individuals and business were concerned most about administration procedures and cost, he said. He asked the NOIP office to review current processing procedures and seek measures to reduce the time expended on each application.

Pham Viet Thanh, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology and head of the National Office of Intellectual Property, said that from 2011-15 the office received more than 390,000 applications for IP right protection, of which, nearly 340,000 were solved and over 50,000 unsolved.

Applications continue to increase both in quantity and in levels of complication, requiring more time to verify and assess, he said.

“The number of unsolved applications is a result of insufficient infrastructure, staff and cumbersome procedures,” he said.

He added that another difficulty is finance: application cost has remained unchanged for years and is much lower than in neighbouring countries.

For example, in Vietnam, inventors pay 1.26 million VND (56 USD) to have an invention assessed, but the rate in Malaysia is 4.7 times higher, in Philippines 1.3 times higher and in Singapore 32.8 times higher.

Le Huy Anh, Head of Patent No2 Division, said that the NOIP still requires written register applications but that it expects to receive e-applications by the end of this year.

Head of Enforcement and Complaint Settlement Division NguyenThanh Hong said that under the Law on Intellectual Property and relevant legal documents, assessors must not directly contact applicants.

“Few tiny mistakes in an application form must be informed by mail, which can take a few weeks for mistakes to be corrected. If allowed, e-mail can help save much time,” he said.

Moreover, about 90 per cent of applications by foreign businesses or individuals are submitted not only in Vietnam but also in other countries, pushing the need for stronger technology systems that help assessors connect and share assessment results.

Deputy PM Dam said that regulations on IP assessment cost must be in line with international practices but still affordable for domestic inventors.

“To major foreign enterprises, they prioritise transparency, time saving and law enforcement, rather than the sum paid for IP assessment,” he said, noting that the NOIP should learn from the experiences of other countries for better performance.-VNA