NOIP Vietnam

On 14 June 2019, the National Assembly ratified Law No. 42/2019/QH14 amending both the Law on Intellectual Property and the Law on Insurance Business. Law 42 comes into effect on 1 November 2019, except for certain provisions amending the Law on Intellectual Property.

Here are some highlights:

Law on Intellectual Property (IP Law)

  • The IP Law has been amended to reflect Vietnam’s commitments under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Amendments are made to different aspects of IP, including inventions, geographical indications, trademarks, measures against abuse of IP protection procedures and measures to enforce IP rights.
  • As we highlighted previously, the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) issued Notification 1926/BT-SHTT to comply with the CPTPP Agreement regarding the validity of trademark license contracts (please refer to our summary of this Notification here). The amended IP Law now confirms that a trademark license contract is valid against a third party regardless of its registration with NOIP. However, with regard to license contracts for other industrial property objects (other than trademarks), registrations are still required for establishing validity against third parties.
  • Regarding the suspension of customs procedures for goods being suspected of infringing IP rights, under the amended IP Law, the customs authority shall provide the IP rights holder with necessary information (e.g. names and addresses of the consignor/exporter/consignee/importer and description/quantity/origin of the goods) within 30 days from the date of a suspension decision -i.e. for the IP rights holder to consider initiating legal procedingsagainst the suspected IP infringer.
  • The amended IP Law comes into effect from 1 November 2019, except for certain cases, where the new regulations are retroactively effectivefrom 14 January 2019 (i.e. when the CPTPP Agreement came into effect in Vietnam), such as:
    • Trademark license contractsentered into by parties but not registered with NOIP prior to 14 January 2019 shall only have legal validity against third parties from 14 January 2019.
    • Lawsuits against the infringement of IP rights for which the competent authorities accepted jurisdiction prior to 14 January 2019 but which were not fully resolved shall continue to be resolved in accordance with the current IP Law.

Law on Insurance Business (IB Law)

  • Although listed in Vietnam’s WTO commitments a decade ago, and existing in practice, “insurance auxiliary services” are now, for the first time, addressed in a law.
  • Insurance auxiliary services comprise (i) insurance consultancy, (ii) insurance risk assessment, (iii) insurance calculation (actuarial services), (iv) insurance loss assessment and (v) insurance indemnity settlement support.
  • The amended IB Law stipulates the principles and conditions for the provision of insurance auxiliary services, e.g. corporate service providers must be duly established and have qualified personnel.
  • The responsibilities of insurance auxiliary service providers are also set out, including that service providers must maintain the confidentiality of customer information and must purchase professional indemnity insurance appropriate for each type of insurance auxiliary service.
  • Those organisations currently providing insurance auxiliary services must satisfy the conditions as prescribed in this amended IB Law within one year from 1 November 2019. After that, if the service providers still fail to satisfy these conditions, they are not permitted to provide insurance auxiliary services until the conditions are fully satisfied.