1. Why should you register the inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems?

Registering an invention with the competent state agency is a mandatory administrative procedure for the owner of the invention in order to be recognized the ownership over the invention. This recognition is very important to protect your invention from being copied or used legally by other parties. This administrative procedure should be the first thing that an invention owner thinks about after creating the invention.

In a developing country like Vietnam, where intellectual property rights have not been paid adequate attention, we should raise the awareness of people about the importance of registering an invention with competent State agencies. Registering an invention can bring you great benefits as below:

- The first and also the most important benefit of registering an invention with the authority is that it helps the owner to establish his/her exclusive ownership over the invention, preventing infringement of other parties. With a patent, no other party can use or copy the invention without prior consent of the owner.

- Second, an invention patent is the legal basis for proving ownership of the owner over the invention, especially in case there is any dispute related to the invention. When the owner discovers an act of counterfeiting or imitation of inventions for the purpose of reaping or competing with the owner’s brand, the owner has the right to request competent state agencies to investigate and handle violations.

- Third, patent registration helps the owner to increase his/her competitive advantage, market power and earn more profits. Because of the exclusive ownership of the owner over the invention, no one is allowed to manufacture, sell, use and distribute products that apply the invention with the consent of the owner. This advantage can reduce significantly competition, increase sales, and if marketed properly, the owner can charge a higher price for the exclusive products.

- Fourth, the invention provides new sources of revenue to the owner from licensing or transferring the invention.

- Fifth, the invention helps the owner to raise capital and attract potential investors much easier. The owner can use the patent to deliver the signal about a company with high technological competence, great creativity, thus creating high performance in marketing, advertising and branding strategies.

- Finally, a patent can become an asset of a company to help the owner raise capital easily, quickly and effectively. The patents can also be used as collateral for bank loans.

The above benefits are great reasons to answer the question why should you register an invention with the competent state agencies as soon as possible.

2. What are inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems?

According to provisions of Vietnamese intellectual property law, inventions can be defined as technical solutions in the forms of products or processes that apply laws of nature to solve particular problems in our life. From this definition, we can understand inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems are technical solution in the form of controlling or regulating methods, systems, machines that apply natural laws for solving specific issues.

In order to be considered as an invention, a technical solution must satisfy the prerequisites as follow:

- It has the novelty; and

- It has the creativity; and

- It has the capability of industrial application.

Besides, under the intellectual property provisions, the following objects shall not be determined as inventions:

- Scientific discoveries or theories, mathematical methods.

- Schemes, plans, rules and methods for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games and doing business; computer programs.

- Presentations of information.

- Solutions of aesthetic characteristics only.

- Plant varieties, animal breeds.

- Processes of plant or animal production which are principally of a biological nature, other than microbiological processes.

- Human and animal disease prevention methods, diagnostic and treatment methods.

Currently, Vietnamese law stipulates two types of patents: invention patent and utility solution patent.

When being registered, inventions shall be classified into certain Class according to the International Patent Classification (IPC), a global patent classification system that classifies the patents in a uniform manner. Under the current version of IPC, inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems are classified into Class G05. This Class mostly includes inventions/utility solutions in the forms as below:

- Control or regulating systems in general; functional elements of such systems; monitoring or testing arrangements for such systems or elements;

- Systems for controlling or regulating non-electric variables;

- Systems for regulating electric or magnetic variables;

- Control devices or systems insofar as characterised by mechanical features only;

3. How to register inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, in order to register an invention, the applicant shall prepare a registration dossier with at least the documents and papers as follows:

- The registration declaration of invention/utility solution (02 copies);

- The Invention/Utility solution description (02 copies), which includes the descriptions content, the protection request, and the images/drawings of the invention/utility solution (if any);

- The abstract of the invention/utility solution (02 copies);

- The receipts for payments of prescribed fees and charges;

- In some cases, the applicant needs to provide some other supporting documents such as the power of attorney, documents and papers to prove the registration rights, or priority;

4. The process of registering inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems in Vietnam?

After preparing a complete set of documents, the applicant shall submit the patent registration dossier to the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP). There are two ways to submit the application. The first way is to submit it directly to the main office of NOIP in Ha Noi or to its representative offices in Da Nang city and Ho Chi Minh city. The second way is to submit the application indirectly via postal services. The competent state agency will receive the application and start appraising it through steps as below:

Step 1, the formality appraisal: In this first step, the competent state agency will appraise the application in terms of formality conditions as prescribed by the provisions of law. This step normally takes 01 month to be done.

Step 2, the publication of the application: If the application is determined as a valid application, the NOIP will publish the information of the application in the Industrial Property Official Gazette after the 18th month from the submission date.

Step 3, the substantive appraisal: This is the most important step in the process of examining the application. The competent state agency will fully appraise the application in terms of its content to determine the ability to be protected of the invention/utility solution stated in the application under the protection conditions and scope. Normally, it takes about 18 months from the publishing date to be done.

Step 4, the issuance of the patent: After all examinations, the applicant shall receive a notification of the NOIP to pay all the fees and charges in order to be finally granted a patent of invention/utility solution.

5. Where to register inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems in Vietnam?

Currently, the Vietnamese intellectual property law stipulates that foreign entities (companies, organizations or individuals) shall only apply their inventions/utility solutions in Vietnam through official industrial property representative organizations. Minh Khue Law Firm has been recognised as an industrial property representative in Vietnam since August 2017, with the representative code is 226. We have helped many clients both in Vietnam as well as abroad to register their inventions successfully in Vietnam.

The Intellectual Property Department of Minh Khue Law Firm will carry out all the procedures for the client. Our office is based in Room 2007, 20th Floor, C2 Building, Vincom Tran Duy Hung, Tran Duy Hung Street, Trung Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi city.

The person in charge of the Intellectual Property Department of Minh Khue Law Firm:

Lawyer: To Thi Phuong Dzung

Phone number: + 84986 386 648

The completed register dossier will be submitted at: National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam.

Address: 384-386 Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan Trung, Thanh Xuan, Hanoi

6. Contact to register inventions of controlling and regulating machines/systems in Vietnam?

Please contact: Minh Khue Law Company Limited

Address: Room 2007, C2 building, Vincom Tran Duy Hung, Trung Hoa ward, Cau Giay district, Ha Noi city.

Phone number: + 84986 386 648 - Lawyer: To Thi Phuong Dzung

Email: dung@luatminhkhue.vn

Best Regards,

Intellectual Property Department - Minh Khue Law Company Limited