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At the Mirandah Asia Vietnam office, we provide the full spectrum of IP services for clients based in this key emerging jurisdiction. As Vietnam’s regional and global business standing grows, the local, bilingual expertise we can provide for IP matters is something that those seeking protection can firmly trust.

Overview

With strong exports and record-high foreign direct investment, Vietnam’s economy is an emerging market standout. This is due in no small part to its robust intellectual property landscape. The Vietnamese government is aware of the change in its business landscape and has stepped up its efforts in matters relating to IP.

To catch up with the development of the regional and global economy, Vietnam’s National Assembly passed the Law on Intellectual Property Rights in 2005 to protect three major IP rights: copyright and related rights; industrial property rights; and rights in plant varieties. This, along with a multitude of other laws related to IPR, such as the 2004 Law on Competition and the 2005 Civil Code, contributed to the country’s ascension to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November 2006 and a bilateral trade agreement with the US in 2007.

Growth of Vietnam’s IP Landscape

In September 2010, in an effort to strengthen the protection of IPRs, the government issued sterner administrative sanctions for violations of industrial property rights, along with other important changes to the IPR regulations in Vietnam. Aside from local IPR legislation, Vietnam is also a regular participant in international IPR conventions such as the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, the Rome Convention, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement, and the Madrid Protocol. In addition, Vietnam has concluded the negotiation of an FTA with the EU in February 2016, which has substantial IP provisions, to further boost its IP environment. The FTA has been published and is now under legal review and translation to the EU’s official languages and Vietnamese.

The IP landscape in Vietnam is governed by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP), an agency under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

 

Major international treaties signed
  • Patent Co-operation Treaty
  • Paris Convention
Costs of obtaining a patent
Average time to obtain a patent 5 – 6 years
Official language for patent prosecution Vietnamese
Non-patentable subject matter
  • Discoveries, scientific theories; mathematical formulae
  • Schemes, plans, rules or methods for performing mental acts, playing games, doing business; computer programs
  • Presentations of information
  • Solutions of aesthetic characteristics only
  • Plant varieties, animal varieties
  • Processes of essentially biological nature for the production of plants and animals other than microbiological processes
  • Methods of diagnostic, prophylaxis and treatment for human or animals
Grace period for prior disclosure or sale
  • Six months before filing date in Vietnam
Major prosecution events Paris Convention entry: 12 months

National phase entry:31 months

Formality Examination : 1 months from local filing date

Substantive Examination: 42 months

Term of examination: 18 months

Payment of grant fee : At the end of examination

Renewals (after grant): Every year on anniversary of grant date

Extension of deadlines Only one extension permitted, for a period of 2 months
Pharmaceutical Data Exclusivity Laws In force
Parallel Imports Allowed
Term of patent 20 years from filing date
Patent term extension Not available
Restoration of lapsed patent Not Allowed
Search and Examination The Vietnamese National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) conducts its own Search and Examination, both as to form and as to substance
Other forms of patents Utility Solution (for minor inventions)
Useful links www.mirandah.com www.noip.gov.vn
Infringement offence Civil and Criminal (in special cases)
Any specialized courts for IP No
Outline of the enforcement steps
  • Cease and Desist Letter
  • File a petition at the local authority to denounce the infringer
Relief against groundless threats Not Available
Declaration of non-infringement Not Available
Preliminary injunctions Available
Alternative dispute resolution (i)  Mediation
(ii) Arbitration
Availability of damages and other relief for infringement (i)    Injunction
(ii)   Loss of revenue
(iii)  Account of profits

Patent Applications

Year Resident Non-Resident Total
2001 52 1,234 1286
2002 69 1,142 1211
2003 78 1,072 1150
2004 103 1,328 1431
2005 180 1,767 1947
2006 196 1,970 2166
2007 219 2,641 2860
2008 204 2,995 3199
2009 258 2,632 2890
2010 306 3,276 3582
2011 300 3,260 3560
2012 382 3,423 3805
2013 443 3,552 3995
2014 487 3,960 4447
2015 582 4,451 5033

Patent Grants

Year Resident Non-Resident Total
2001 7 776 783
2002 9 734 743
2003 17 757 774
2004 22 676 698
2005 27 641 668
2006 44 625 669
2007 34 691 725
2008 39 627 666
2009 29 677 706
2010 29 793 822
2011 48 958 1006
2012 52 1,016 1068
2013 59 1,123 1182
2014 36 1,361 1397
2015 63 1,325 1388

Source: WIPO

Legal Basis Intellectual Property Law 2005

Law No. 36/2009/QH12 of June 19, 2009, amending and supplementing a Number of Articles of the Law on Intellectual Property (promulgated by the Order No. 12/2009/L-CTN of June 29, 2009 of the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam)

Major international treaties signed
  • Paris Convention
  • Madrid Agreement and Protocol
Cost of obtaining a straightforward registration Please contact us at  vietnam@mirandah.com
Average time to register a trademark Minimum 12 – 16 months
Filing and prosecution procedures Stage 1: Filing

Stage 2: Examination

Stage 3: Advertisement

Stage 4: Opposition (if any)

Stage 5: Registration

Stage 6: Post-Registration Advertisement

Registrable marks Any distinctive device, brand, heading, label, ticket, name, signature, word, letter, numeral, or combination thereof, may be registered as a trademark
Number of classes 45 (Nice Classification)
Multiple class filing Available
Filing of series marks Not available
Necessary documents Signed Power of Attorney
Electronic filing Not available
Common objections
  • Deceptiveness
  • Prior conflicting rights
  • Inventiveness, descriptiveness and non-distinctiveness
Opposition term From the date of publication of the application to the time the Examiner completes the substantive examination of the application (around 6-8 months from publication date, no specific time frame)
Duration of protection 10 years from the filing date
Restoration of lapsed trademark Within 6 months from the expiry of the registration
Compulsory period of use to avoid cancellation action A trademark registration may be vulnerable to a cancellation action by a third party if it is not used for 5 consecutive years prior to the cancellation action.
Parallel Imports Allowed
Use Not necessary at the time of filing, as an application can be filed on an “intent to use” basis
Useful links www.mirandah.com
www.noip.gov.vn

 

 

 

 

Outline of the
enforcement steps
Civil

    • Infringement pursuant to the Intellectual Property Law 2005 (IPL)
    • Unfair Competition

Administrative Actions

Effected by the various government department including the Ministry of Science; Technology and Department of Science and Technology at province; the Ministry of Trade, Economic Police and Customs

Criminal Actions 

A criminal action can be brought against an infringer pursuant to Articles 156 158 and 170, 171 of the Criminal Code

Civil Remedies
  • Interlocutory / permanent injunction
  • An order for the surrender or the destruction of the offending trademark or signage
  • Damages or account of profits in lieu of damages
  • A declaration of the plaintiff’s rights to the trademark and defendant’s infringement of these rights
Criminal Sanctions
  • Monetary fines or imprisonment or both
  • Prohibition of importation; seizure; detention; forfeiture of counterfeit trademark   goods
Others It is an offence to represent a trademark as registered when it is not
Time frame for various legal actions 12 – 36 months
Alternative dispute resolution
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
Any specialized courts for IP Not available

Trademark Applications

Year Resident Non-Resident Total
2001 3,095 5,317 8412
2002 6,560 4,081 10641
2003 8,599 5,422 14021
2004 10,641 6,499 17140
2005 12,884 7,247 20131
2006 16,071 9,730 25801
2007 19,653 11,340 30993
2008 20,832 10,905 31737
2009 22,378 9,773 32151
2010 21,215 10,598 31813
2011 22,376 9,625 32001
2012 22,813 10,949 33762
2013 24,629 10,999 35628
2014 26,563 11,752 38315
2015 30,476 12,066 42542

Trademark Registrations

Year Resident Non-Resident Total
2001 2,085 3,696 5781
2002 3,386 3,500 6886
2003 4,907 3,995 8902
2004 5,444 4,037 9481
2005 6,427 5,537 11964
2006 6,335 5,049 11384
2007 10,660 8,754 19414
2008 15,826 11,622 27448
2009 16,232 9,961 26193
2010 12,732 7,884 20616
2011 15,879 9,835 25714
2012 15,319 7,887 23206
2013 14,504 9,585 24089
2014 15,378 9,741 25119
2015 14,209 9,759 23968

Source: WIPO

Want to find out more about
Vietnam's IP landscape?
Drop us a line or visit
our office.

mirandah asia (vietnam)
No. 10, Lane 34, Au Co Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +(844) 3718 6216
Fax: +(844) 3718 6217

Email: vietnam@mirandah.com