Opportunities from EVFTA commitments on Copyrights, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Patents

In comparison with TRIPS and Vietnamese law, the commitments on Copyrights, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Patents in the EVFTA have some notable new points as follows:

Copyright and related rights

  • Within 03 years from the date of entry into force of the EVFTA, Vietnam must accede to 02 WIPO treaties: WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). In other words, Vietnam will have to meet the standards of protection in these 02 treaties;

  • Some detailed regulations on copyright and related rights that are not clearly defined by current law;

  • More detailed definition and expanded scope of acts considered to infringe protection of technical measures (PTMs) and Rights Management Information (RMI) than the current regulations of Vietnam.

  • Artists' Resale Right in Works of Art may be provided.


  • Regarding the Registration of Trademarks Procedure: If the registration is refused, the refusal by the competent authority shall be communicated in writing and be duly reasoned;

  • Regarding the trademark database system: Vietnam will have to build a publicly available electronic database of published trademark applications and trademark registrations;

  • Revocation of a Registered Trademark: A registered trademark shall be liable to revocation if it has not been put to “genuine” use within a continuous period of five years from the date of registration;

  • Exceptions to the right to use descriptive terms in a trademark registered by anyone else as long as the use is fair and consistent with commercial practice.

 Industrial Designs

  • Vietnam must accede to and ensure the implementation of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs;

  • Objects protected with Industrial designs include not only the overall design of the finished product, but also the design of the component or part of the product if the component or part remains visible during normal use of the latter;

  • An industrial design shall also be eligible for protection under copyright;

  • Industrial design protection shall not extend to designs dictated essentially by technical or functional considerations.


  • The right to apply the DOHA Declaration to access pharmaceutical inventions for the public interest;

  • Obligation to "compensate" an extension of patent protection in case of delays in marketing authorisation procedures for pharmaceutical products.

New commitments in these aspects will increase the level of IPR protection for businesses with IP products, so it is expected to create a safer legal corridor, which helps German manufacturers and exporters feel more secure when doing business with Vietnam. However, for Vietnamese enterprises using IP products, the implementation of such commitments may increase compliance costs.

EVFTA full text for more information: https://wtocenter.vn/chuyen-de/12778-eu-vietnam-trade-and-investment-agreements 

Source: "Business Handbook: Exploiting the EVFTA  to import and export goods between Vietnam and Germany" - Center for WTO and International Trade