The protection of intellectual property rights reflects the responsibility and recognition of the law towards the achievements and efforts of individuals and organizations, the subjects of ownership rights. Provisions on the protection of intellectual property rights play a role in maintaining fairness, creating incentives to promote creativity, and contributing to the dedication of individuals and organizations in technical improvement activities, scientific research to create material and spiritual products for society, thereby promoting the global socio-economic development process.
One of the particularly important aspects of intellectual property rights is the regulation of limits and the duration of protection. The limits and duration of protection of intellectual property rights encompass the legal boundaries and the value of the time or period for the recognized legal protection of the owner’s rights.
What is the significance of establishing the duration of protection for intellectual property rights? What are the limits of intellectual property rights? Based on what foundation can the limits of intellectual property rights be established? How is the duration of intellectual property rights determined? Which objects do not fall within the scope of intellectual property protection?
The significance of establishing the duration of intellectual property protection
Establishing limits for intellectual property protection helps ensure interests, commercial fairness, and social development. Hence, establishing the duration of intellectual property protection carries special significance:
For intellectual property right holders
Encouraging creative exploration as the foundation of development. Intellectual property is the result of a creative process, intellectual investment, effort, and financial resources of individuals and organizations. Recognizing and protecting the rights of creative subjects ensures fairness, creating favorable conditions to encourage and support individuals and organizations to engage in more research, scientific innovation, and technical improvement, thereby generating material and spiritual products for society.
For business and production entities
Protecting intellectual property rights helps deter and prevent unhealthy competition, counterfeiting, and imitation activities that damage the reputation, dignity, and economy of businesses. Intellectual property protection contributes to minimize the losses and to encourage robust investment and development by manufacturers, thereby promoting domestic and international trade.
Limited intellectual property rights have restricted violations of intellectual property, counterfeiting, substandard products, and other forms of unfair competition, thereby reducing losses for business entities. By preventing unhealthy competition and infringements of intellectual property rights, this protection helps safeguard consumers, enabling them to have choices and access to quality goods and services.
Intellectual property rights contribute in promoting healthy commercial activities globally, which serves as a driving force for economic growth and attract technology transfer and foreign investment. In the current context of international integration, with the strong and continuous flow of tangible and intangible assets between countries, the protection of intellectual property rights also contributes to safeguarding national interests. Intellectual property protection is a mandatory obligation and a prerequisite for countries who are members of the World Trade Organization and those aspiring to join this organization. Many countries, particularly developing ones, consider intellectual property protection as an essential condition for establishing trade relations.
Basis for Establishment of Intellectual Property Rights
The basis for the establishment of intellectual property rights are provided in Article 6 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022, as follows:
- Copyright. Arises from the moment a work is created and expressed in a certain material form, irrespective of content, quality, form, means, language, whether published or unpublished, registered, or unregistered.
- Related rights to copyright. Arise from the moment of performance, recording, audiovisual recording, broadcasting program, satellite signal carrying an encoded program, presentation, or execution, without infringing upon the author’s rights.
- Industrial property rights. Established as follows:
- Industrial property rights for inventions, industrial designs, layout designs, and trademarks are established based on decisions to grant protection certificates issued by the competent state authority following the registration procedure prescribed in the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022, or recognized through international registration under international treaties of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.
- Industrial property rights for well-known trademarks are established based on usage, not dependent on registration procedures.
- Industrial property rights for geographical indications are established based on decisions to grant protection certificates issued by the competent state authority following the registration procedure prescribed in the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022, or pursuant to international treaties of which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a member.
- Industrial property rights for trade names are established based on the lawful use of such trade names.
- Industrial property rights for business secrets are established based on acquiring such secrets in a lawful manner and maintaining the confidentiality of those business secrets.
- Rights against unfair competition are established based on competitive activities in business.
- Rights concerning plant varieties. Established based on decisions to grant Plant Variety Protection Certificates issued by the competent state authority following the registration procedure prescribed in the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022.
Limitations of Intellectual Property Rights
The limitations of intellectual property rights are stipulated in Article 7 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022.
Intellectual property right holders shall only exercise their rights within the scope and duration of protection provided by the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022.
The exercise of intellectual property rights shall not infringe upon the interests of the State, public interests, legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals, and shall not violate other relevant provisions of the law. Organizations and individuals exercising intellectual property rights related to the National flag, National emblem, and National anthem of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall not obstruct or hinder the dissemination and use of these symbols.
To ensure national defense, security, public welfare, and other interests of the State and society as stipulated in the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022, the State has the right to prohibit or restrict intellectual property right holders from exercising their rights or may compel intellectual property right holders to permit other organizations and individuals to use one or more of their rights under appropriate conditions.
Duration of Protection for Common Intellectual Property Rights
The duration of protection for intellectual property rights as prescribed in the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022, is specified as follows:
- For copyright. According to Article 27 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended in 2009, 2019, and 2022, artistic applied works, photographic works, cinematographic works, and anonymous works are protected for 75 years from the date of first publication. For works not published within 25 years from their creation, the protection term is 100 years. For other types of works, protection is granted throughout the author’s lifetime and 50 years following the author’s death.
- For patents. With respect to patents granted exclusive patent rights under the provisions of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 93 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, protection shall extend from the date of granting the patent until the end of 20 years from the filing date. For patents granted exclusive protection for utility solutions, protection shall extend from the date of granting the patent for utility solutions until the end of 10 years from the date the applicants filed.
- Industrial designs. Industrial designs, as provided in Paragraph 4 of Article 93 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, shall be protected from the date of granting exclusive industrial design certificates until the end of 5 years from the filing date. This exclusive right may be consecutively renewed twice, each time for 5 years. Therefore, a maximum of 15 years of exclusive protection is granted for an industrial design. Afterward, the exclusive right for the industrial design shall expire, and others may use it without the owner’s consent.
- Trademarks. According to the provisions of Paragraph 6 of Article 93 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, the certificate of trademark registration shall be effective from the date granted until the end of ten years from the filing date. This period can be extended multiple times consecutively, each time for ten years.
- Geographical indications. The certificate of geographical indication registration, as provided in Paragraph 7 of Article 93 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, shall have indefinite effect from the date of granting the certificate of geographical indication registration.
- Trade secrets. The duration of protection for trade secrets varies depending on the different forms of protection. In cases where trade secrets are automatically protected without the need for registration, these are protected indefinitely until they become public. For cases where trade secrets are protected under the guise of patents, the protection duration for trade secrets, as stipulated for patents, is 20 years.
Objects Excluded from the Scope of Intellectual Property Protection
According to the current legislation, the subjects protected by intellectual property rights include copyright and related rights, industrial property rights, and rights related to plant varieties. However, alongside these, there are also objects that do not fall under the protection of these rights.
Not within the scope of copyright protection
According to Article 15 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005 and Article 8 of Decree 17/2023/NĐ-CP, three categories of objects are not within the scope of copyright protection:
- Purely informational news is news of a journalistic nature, daily news, factual data, which is informative in character, lacking creative input.
- Administrative documents comprise documents of state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, socio-political professional organizations, social organizations, social-professional organizations, and units of the armed forces.
- The terms process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, and data are defined as follows:
- A process is a sequence that must be followed to carry out a task.
- A system is a collection of similar or functionally related elements or units, interconnected and interdependent, forming a unified whole.
- A method is a way to study and interpret phenomena of nature and social life.
- A concept is a generalized reflection of the essence and relationships of reality.
- A principle is a fundamental law that governs a series of phenomena, serving as the starting point for constructing other theories.
Not within the scope of patent protection
According to Article 15 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, the following objects are not protected under the guise of patents: inventions, scientific theories, mathematical methods, schemes, plans, rules, and methods for performing mental acts, playing games, conducting business; computer programs, ways of presenting information, solutions that are aesthetic in nature, plant varieties, animal breeds, processes for the mainly biological production of plants and animals, and methods for preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases in humans and animals.
Not within the scope of industrial design protection
Under Article 64 of the Intellectual Property Law 2005, the following objects are not protected as industrial designs: the external shape of a product that is dictated by its technical function; the external shape of civil or industrial construction works; and the external shape of a product that is not visible during the use of the product.
Intellectual property rights have prescribed limitations and scope. Every intellectual property asset has a specific scope of protection. Accurately understanding the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law is essential to ensure the absolute protection of individuals and organizations’ rights and interests. Do not forget to follow us and access more useful information on our website. When needed, feel free to contact us for more detailed information and guidance: email@example.com.