Effective from 1 June 2019, applicants can request accelerated examination at the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IP Vietnam) based on a favourable work product established by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) for the corresponding Korean national application (and vice versa). This PPH Pilot Program between IP Vietnam and KIPO will run for an initial period of 2 years and is limited to 100 requests from each office per year.
The corresponding application can be the KIPO application which forms the basis of the priority claim, an application which is derived from the KIPO application which forms the basis of the priority claim (e.g. a divisional application of the KIPO application or an application which claims domestic priority to the KIPO application), or a KIPO national phase application of a PCT application. In other words, this PPH Pilot Program does not cover PCT work products established by KIPO as ISA/IPEA. Further, a KIPO utility model application is not eligible for program.
Each PPH request must be submitted together with the following documents:
- Copies of all office actions which are relevant to examination of patentability and issued for the corresponding application by KIPO, and translation of them
- Copies of all claims determined to be patentable/allowable by KIPO, and translation of them
- Copies of references cited by the KIPO examiner
- A claim correspondence table
For items (1) and (2), the translation can be in Vietnamese or English, and the documents may not be required if they are available via K-PION (KIPO's dossier access system). For item (3), patent references may not be required, but non-patent references must always be submitted. Translations of the references are not required.
More detailed guidelines can be found here.
The PPH Pilot Program with KIPO is another effort by IP Vietnam to leverage on the work performed by a partner patent office to accelerate examination of patent applications in Vietnam, especially as Korean companies are increasingly active in Vietnam. Similar to the PPH Pilot Program with JPO, we expect that the quota of 100 cases per year would be taken up very quickly.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.