|Head of the Intellectual Property Rights Office under the Ministry of Science and Technology Đinh Hữu Phí. — VNA/VNS Photo|
Head of the Intellectual Property Rights Office (IPRO) under the Ministry of Science and Technology Đinh Hữu Phí speaks to the Vietnam News Agency about measures to promote the development of start-ups and exploit intellectual assets from universities and research institutes
The draft amendments and supplements to the Law on Intellectual Property include proposals to adjust regulations to encourage the creation and exploitation of intellectual assets invested by the State. Can you talk more about these proposals?
The Law on Intellectual Property was ratified by the National Assembly in 2005 and took effect on July 1, 2006. It was amended and supplemented twice in 2009 and 2019. It is an important legal document to regulate social relations relating to a special asset that is intellectual property.
After 16 years of enforcement, the law has proved its role in creating a legal corridor for creative activities while at the same time creating a healthy environment for production and business activities, contributing to encouraging creative activities, speeding up technology transfer and attracting foreign investment, thus helping to boost socio-economic development.
The law has served as a foundation for the intellectual property rights protection system of Việt Nam to meet standards of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) as well as meeting the requirements as committed in new-generation free trade agreements.
However, with the trend of deep and wide international integration via the joining into international treaties, particularly new-generation free trade agreements, Việt Nam needs to fulfil its commitments, including those relating to intellectual property rights, urging for amendments to the Law on Intellectual Property.
Among seven groups of policies needed to be changed, there is a policy relating to universities and research institutes – that is “encouraging to create, exploit and popularise inventions and designs created from using the State budget”.
The IPRO is also reviewing to propose to amend related regulations to help promote the commercialisation of research results.
If approved, how will the draft law help in promoting creative and scientific and technological activities of Việt Nam and the commercialisation of intellectual assets created by universities and research institutes?
The trend to assign the organisations with scientific and technological tasks using funds from the State budget has been applied by many countries and has proved efficient in creating conditions for the commercialisation of intellectual property rights. However, administration and commercialisation capacity of intellectual property assets and intellectual property rights remains a challenge to scientists, universities, research institutes and businesses.
If the draft law is approved, it is expected to help universities and research institutes to be more proactive in the commercialisation of intellectual property assets created from their scientific and technological projects.
In order to tap into this policy, universities and research institutes need to set up a mechanism to ensure management efficiency of their intellectual assets. They need experts who understand both the market and legal issues well to protect intellectual property rights in terms of legal aspects and commercial values.
The combination of these factors will help scientific research results to not only be published in the form of scientific articles but to gradually become tangible products. Profits from the commercialisation of research results will help create investment capital for scientific research and innovation activities. As a result, the quantity and quality of scientific and technological activities in Việt Nam will be much improved.
Universities and research institutes, that lack capacity to exploit and commercialise research results, need help from businesses. Apart from existing enterprises, the formation of start-ups from the exploitation of intellectual assets of universities and research institutes is one of the effective directions. This is one of topics chosen for discussion at a series of main conferences at the Techfest 2021 – the 7th National Festival for Innovative Start-ups, in order to put forward effective solutions for the commercialisation of intellectual assets created from research results at universities and research institutes.
What are measures needed for start-ups?
One of the essential solutions at present for start-ups is to connect and exploit intellectual assets from universities and research institutes which are the cradles of new knowledge and technologies. The Intellectual Property Strategy until 2030 and the Intellectual Asset Development Programme until 2030 approved by the Prime Minister mention the connection between businesses and universities and research institutes. The key tasks are set for the promotion of innovation activities and encourage businesses to proactively order, connect and cooperate with universities and research institutes to exploit and develop intellectual property assets.
The cooperation between enterprises and universities and research institutes in exploiting intellectual property assets will help to shorten the application process of research results in production and business activities, helping businesses to reduce investment time and cost in research activities.
It will also create opportunities for universities and research institutes to commercialise and popularise their research results to serve socio-economic development, thus helping to create motivation for scientific research activities at these establishments.
With the increase in the number of patent applications from universities and research institutes in recent years, it is sure that the linkage between universities, research institutes and businesses or start-ups will bring in fruitful results. — VNS