On 30 September 2019, on behalf of the Government of Vietnam, the Minister of Science and Technology deposited the instrument of accession to the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement with the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This took place during the recent WIPO General Assembly in Switzerland.

Accordingly, the 1999 Act will enter into force in Vietnam on 30 December 2019. As from that date, applicants from Vietnam can begin using the Hague System to protect their industrial designs in the Contracting Parties to the 1999 Act of the Hague Agreement. Likewise, foreign applicants can seek design protection through the Hague System in Vietnam from 30 December 2019.

Vietnam's accession to the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement is in line with ASEAN countries' commitment to join the Hague System, with a view to simplifying and harmonizing design registration formalities. While awaiting the amendment of the relevant domestic legislation, it is understood that Vietnam will directly apply the regulations under the Agreement to international applications designating Vietnam, as well as Vietnam-originated international applications. National stage examination is to be carried out in the same manner as that of regular design applications directly filed in Vietnam.

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.