(i)Law on Intellectual Property No. 50/2005/QH11 ratified on 29 November 2005 and entered into force on 1 July 2006, which was amended and supplemented under the Law No. 36/2009/QH12 of 19 June 2009 (Vietnam IP Law).
(ii) Decree No. 103/2006/ND-CP of 22 September 2006 detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the law on intellectual property regarding industrial property (Decree 103).
(iii) Circular No. 11/2015/TT-BKHCN of 26 June 2015 guiding the implementation of a number of articles of Decree No. 99/2013/ND-CP on sanctioning of administrative violations in industrial property (Circular 11)
2. Relevant provisions for the patent infringement assessment in Vietnam
Per Article 102.3, Vietnam IP Law, the essential technical features of a claim are determined based on the following principles:
[The scope of protection of an invention shall be expressed in the form of a combination of technical features which are necessary and sufficient to identify the scope of the rights to such invention and should be compatible with the description of invention and attached drawings].
Article 16.1, Decree 103 specifies that the scope of rights to an invention is determined according to the scope of protection stated in the Letters Patent.
Per Rule 11, Circular 11, comparison of the accused product with the claim covering the patented product is made on the following principles:
1. An accused product/product part/process shall be regarded as identical or equivalent to the product/product part/process being protected by a claim (either independent or dependent) in a patent if all essential technical features (elements) claimed in the claim are present in the identical or equivalent form in the accused product/product part/process, wherein:
a. two technical features (elements) shall be considered as identical to each other if they have the same nature, the same purpose, the same manner of achieving purpose, and are in the same relationship with other features stated in the claim;
b. two technical features (elements) shall be considered as equivalent to each other if they have the equivalent or interchangeable nature, the substantially identical purpose, and the substantially identical manner of achieving purpose.
2. If the accused product/product part/process does not contain at least one essential technical feature (element) claimed in a claim, then the accused product/product part/process shall be regarded as not identical or not equivalent to the product/product part/process being protected by the claim.
In conclusion, the Assessed Object shall be regarded as identical/equivalent to the object within the scope of protection of the invention only if the following condition is fully met: all essential technical features as set forth in a given claim of the patent exists in the identical or equivalent form in the Assessed Object.
On the contrary, the Assessed Object shall not be regarded as identical/equivalent to the object within the scope of protection of the invention if the set of essential technical features of the Assessed Object does not contain at least 01 essential technical feature set forth in the claim, regardless of whether there is any further feature contained in the Assessed Object.
3. Differentiating inventions, patents and patent rights
Invention means a technical solution in the form of a product or a process which is intended to solve a problem by application of laws of nature.
Patent means a document granted by a competent state agency to an organization or individual in order to establish industrial property rights to an invention.
Patent Rights: Patent holder is entitled to (i) use or authorize others to use the invention; (ii) prevent others from using the invention.
Use of the invention means performs the following acts in Vietnam: (i) manufacturing the protected product; (ii) applying the protected process; (iii) exploiting utilities of the protected product or the product manufactured under the protected process; (iv) circulating, advertising, offering, stocking for circulation the product mentioned at (iii); (v) importing the product mentioned at (iii).
Scope of a Patent Right: (Vietnam IP Law, Decree 103; Circular 01/2007)
In principle, the scope of a patent right is defined by claims as provided for in the Patent.
4. Infringement of Patent Rights
4.1. Protected Inventions
4.2. Scope of Claims
- The combination of all essential elements identifying the subject matter, achieving its purpose and characterized them from a known object in the context of Prior-art (published applications, other materials...)
- Intrinsic Evidence: a specification, a drawings in the Patent; the Prosecution history (file wrapper).
- Extrinsic Evidence: expert testimony, dictionaries, technical writings, textbooks...
4.3. Infringement Constituents
4.4 Exceptional circumstances of the Infringement
5. Three-step Test for Patent Infringement Assessment
The Patent Infringement Assessment in Vietnam is carried out in conformity with 03 steps, i.e.
- Step 1: Construction of the scope of protection (Claim Construction)
- Step 2: Determination if the accused product/process infringes the construed scope
- Step 3: Determination if the accused activities being infringement
Step 1: Construction of the scope of protection (Claim Construction)
Step 2: Determination if the accused product/process infringes the construed scope
Step 3: Determination if the accused activities being infringement
6. VIPRI's Expert Evidences on Patent Infringement Determination
6.1. VIPRI's Expert Evidences on Inventions
6.2. Validity of VIPRI's Expert Evidences
- Unique Governmental Expert Evidences on Industrial Property
- Source of evidence for:
+ Disputes settled by parties
+ Adjudication performed by enforcement agencies (courts, customs, market controls, inspectorates, polices,..)
+ IP Right acquisition
- Non-binding legal validity (not administrative decisions)
- Objective validity