The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (the Hague Agreement) officially took effect in Vietnam on December 30, 2019. Since then the Hague Express Database reports that more than 1,300 international design applications have designated Vietnam, and many of them have been examined by Vietnam’s IP Office before a statement of grant of protection was issued. However, from the time the Hague Agreement took effect until the amended Intellectual Property Law took effect on January 1, 2023, there were no legal documents regulating the process and procedures for examining these applications in Vietnam. This caused some difficulties in the examination process and many applications filed from 2020 to date remain in limbo, with the applicants having submitted responses to refusals, but yet to receive further results on the grant or refusal of protection.
The amended IP Law introduced Article 93.9 on the validity of international registrations of industrial designs according to the Hague Agreement. More recently, Decree 65/2023/ND-CP (Decree 65) introduced a new section on the filing and processing of Hague international design applications, with detailed regulations on the handling of Hague applications originating in Vietnam and Hague applications designating Vietnam. These new regulations have generally improved the international application process in Vietnam for both the IP Office and design applicants; however, they have not resolved some existing problems and in some cases have created more burdens for applicants. Read more