We wish to let you know that Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN of Vietnam have been amended for the 4th time, and the newly amended version will take effect on January 15, 2018.
The amended Circular has the key changes related to, inter alia, the patent field that might be of your interest.
1. Late national phase entry is no longer available
In the old Circular, the PCT applications may still be entered the national phase in Vietnam after the expiration of the 31-month time limit but within 06 months from the expiry date. With the amended Circular, such grace period is no longer available since January 15, 2018. Thus, this stage is the last chance that for the Applicants who have the overdue applications.
2. Stricter requirements for late request for substantive examination
In the old Circular, the substantive examination request may be late filed within a 06- month grace period after the expiration of the 42nd month for invention applications, or of the 36th month for utility solution applications and the Applicant just needs to provide a “proper reason”. With the amended Circular, the said grace period is still available. However, in order for the late request to be accepted, instead of providing “proper reason”, the Applicant shall have to submit evidence on the events of “force majeure” or “objective obstacle” that lead to the late request.
3. Longer time for response procedure
The amended Circular provides the Applicant with longer time to respond to official actions (OA). In the old Circular, the deadlines for responding to OAs are 01 month in the Formality stage, and 02 months in the Substance stage. With the amended Circular, such deadlines are changed into 02 months and 03 months, respectively.
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Taking this opportunity, may we wish you wonderful holidays and a fruitful year 2018.