Vietnam – Collaborative search and examination (CS&E) pilot program between the intellectual property offices of Vietnam and Singapore

Recently, the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IPVN) and the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) collaborated, for the first time within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to launch the CS&E program for accelerating the patent search and examination in both countries.

This is a pilot program that will last for two years (the first year is from 1 March 2023 to 28 February 2024, and the second year is from 1 March 2024 to 28 February 2025). The two offices will receive and process 20 CS&E requests each year, with a maximum of two CS&E requests per month. Any unused CS&E requests will be carried over to the next month, but a maximum of four CS&E requests can be submitted within a month. Each individual or organization will be allowed to submit only two CS&E requests per month.

The main requirements to file a CS&E request are:

  • The initial application must be filed first in Singapore or Vietnam. Accordingly, an application with a priority claim or a divisional application is not proper under the program. Utility model applications are also not covered under the program;
  • The applicant must fulfill the local representative/address for service requirements; and
  • In the application, the number of patent claims must be no more than 20 claims and the number of independent claims must be no more than three.

The required documents for a CS&E request include:

  • CS&E request
  • Application form;
  • Patent specification and abstract;
  • Request for search and examination; and
  • Request for early publication.

The CS&E program offers several benefits to applicants, including faster application examinations, reduced patent costs, and a faster time-to-market strategy. For more information, please see the document (cse-applicant’s-guide.pdf) regarding the CS&E program at the IPOS side.

The IPVN has other acceleration programs for patent examinations, including a PPH pilot program with the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), a PPH pilot program with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the ASEAN patent examination co-operation (ASPEC) program. The IPVN has had issues with backlogs and delays for patent applications; however, in recent years, the office’s efforts have reduced pending times significantly. The CS&E program as an additional factor shows that the IPVN has tried to satisfy applicants’ needs: shortening pending time for applicants in general, and quickly granting patents under said programs for applicants who clearly desire to obtain a patent soon.

By Nguyen Duc Thang and Dao Thu Trang

Patent Department