On 14 November 2016, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) issued Circular No. 263/2016/TTBTC prescribing rates and the collection, remittance, management and use of industrial property charges and fees (Circular No. 263). This replaced Circular No. 22/2009/TTBTC dated 04 February 2009 by the MOF (Circular No. 22). This new standard of fees will be applied to all organizations and individuals applying for the registration and protection of industrial property rights. The Circular No. 263 will come into effect on 01 January 2017.

We set out the main changes in Circular No. 263 as below:

a. Increase in applicable fees

Compared to the present rates, the newly prescribed rates of fees and charges in Circular No. 263 have increased, ranging from 20 to 50% depending on the type of application and type of industrial property.

b. Allocation of charges and fees after collection

Under Circular No. 263, the collecting agency (i.e. the National Office of Intellectual Property the NOIP) has the right to retain 85% of collected charges and fees to reimburse the costs arising from carrying out its tasks, services and collection services. The remaining 15% would be transferred to the State's budget in accordance with current regulations.

c. New fees for formality examination

Under the current Circular No. 22, the fees payable are for substantive examination only. However, Circular No. 263 allocates 20% of the collected fees for formality examination fees, and 80% for substantive examination fees.

d. New fees for using a protection title

Under Circular No. 263, the owners of inventions, industrial designs and trademarks are subject to fees for using the protection titles whenever they filed applications for renewal/maintenance of their the protection titles.

e. Removal of miscellaneous fees

Compared to Circular No. 22, Circular No. 263 does not include miscellaneous fees, such as fees for obtaining a Certificate Duplicate/a Regranted Certificate, a certified copy of any documents issued by the NOIP, a certified priority document, etc. These miscellaneous fees will be set forth in a separate regulation.