Vietnam – from filing to grant

Our patent attorneys are registered to practice before the Australian and New Zealand Patent Offices and they instruct patent attorneys registered before the National Office of Industrial Property of Vietnam on all aspects of Vietnamese patent prosecution.

Vietnamese Patent Office (NOIP)

The government agency responsible for grant of patent rights in Vietnam is the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).

Key prosecution events

  • Paris Convention filing: 12 months from earliest claimed priority
  • PCT National phase entry: 31 months from earliest claimed priority
  • Substantive examination request: 42 months from earliest claimed priority
  • Divisional application: before the issuance of decision on grant of patent or decision of refusal of application

National phase applications

A National phase application must be filed by 31 months (extendable by 6 months) from the earliest claimed priority date. View filing requirements for a Vietnamese National phase application.

Convention applications

Vietnam is a party to the Paris Convention. A Convention application must be validly filed by 12 months from filing the earliest priority application. Conventional status must be claimed on filing and multiple and partial priorities are allowed. View filing requirements for a Vietnamese Convention application.

Utility patents and 2nd tier protection

Utility patents are available in Vietnam and provide a 10 year term. They relate to inventions that are novel and susceptible to industrial application but must not be common knowledge.

Examination, divisional applications and acceptance

Examination does not automatically proceed from filing, and the applicant must request for substantive examination by 42 months from the priority date, or by 32 months if the request is for a utility patent, otherwise the application will be withdrawn.

The grounds of examination include novelty (absolute), inventive step and industrial applicability.

The following subject matter is not patentable:

  • scientific discoveries or theories, mathematical methods;
  • schemes, plans, rules, and method for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games, doing business, computer programs;
  • presentations of information;
  • solutions of aesthetical characteristics only;
  • plant varieties, animal breeds;
  • process of plant or animal production which are principally of biological nature other than microbiological ones; and
  • human and animal disease prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods.

A patent application may relate only to one invention or to a group of inventions so closely related as to form a single inventive concept. Divisional applications may be filed during examination should a lack of unity objection be raised during examination.

During substantive examination, if there are lawful grounds of objection (eg. the invention is not novel) an examination report will be issued. The applicant is given 2 months to respond and overcome the objections.

One alternative is to file a divisional application, which can be filed at any time during examination, if acceptance cannot be achieved by the due date.

A third party may also file observations regarding the patentability of the application during substantive examination and can also oppose the grant of an application from the date of publication to the date of patent grant.

Once the examiner is satisfied that there are no outstanding issues, the application will be granted.

Re-examination can also be requested by a third party, and a request can also be lodged for nullification of a patent during its entire lifetime.

Micro-organisms

Vietnam is not a party to the Budapest treaty.

There is no express statutory exclusion to patent eligibility of isolated nucleic acid molecules.

Renewals

For details on the renewal requirements in Vietnam, view South East Asia – Renewal Requirements.