Vietnam Business Channel

Vietnamese start-ups should pay attention to their intellectual property

Vietnamese start-ups are snot paying attention to registering their intellectual property, although this is a type of intangible asset that can play a significant role in their future development of start-ups.

Phan Ngan Son, Deputy Director of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam, recently said that entrepreneurship in Vietnam was developing rapidly, but that start-ups were focusing on raising funds, with little attention being paid to registering their intellectual property.

Son said that intellectual property was of significant importance to socio-economic development – a valuable intangible asset to businesses, especially start-ups, which helps enhance competitiveness and create added value.

He cited statistics that showed that most of the assets of U.S. companies, 30 ~ 40 years earlier, were tangible assets while intangible assets accounted for less than 20% of corporate value. By 2005 this situation had dramatically changed and the intangible assets of the S&P 500 firms accounted for 80%of their total market value and by 2015 this figure had increased to 87%.

Tran Le Hong, also from the NOIP, said that several start-up firms had not identified the right time for registration of their intellectual property, which might result in unexpected disputes. He also said that enhancing awareness of intellectual property should start at the university level, but few universities were currently providing training on the subject.

Le Thi Thu Thuy, the Deputy principal of the University of Foreign Trade said that the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) needs to enhance its cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Training in order to put intellectual property subjects into the syllabuses of universities across the nation.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is currently implementing an intellectual property development program from 2016 ~ 2020 that has a focus on providing support to entrepreneurs and start-ups. According to the MST’s report, there were approximately 1,500 startups in Vietnam in 2015 and that figure has increased to approximately 3,000 start-ups in 2018.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc previously affirmed that the Government was committed to protecting intellectual property rights, innovations and ideas because these were valuable intangible assets for start-ups. The Prime Minister has also urged ministries to provide support to start-ups and enhance their awareness of intellectual property to promote their development.