Filing to grant
The government agency responsible for grant of patent rights in Vietnam is the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).
|Key prosecution event||Deadline|
|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|
Vietnamese national phase entry
Vietnamese 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.
At filing we require a Vietnamese translation of the full specification, full details of applicant and inventor/s including nationalities. Any applicable priority details are required and a certified copy of the priority document will be required after filing together with a Power of Attorney.
Examination and acceptance of a Vietnamese patent application
Formalities examination will commence automatically soon after filing. The applicant is given 2 months to respond (extendible). The applicant must request substantive examination by 42 months from the priority date, or by 32 months if the request is for a utility patent.
The examiner may conduct a new search but is most likely to rely on examination reports issued for corresponding applications – especially EPO reports.
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
- any method or use in respect of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment applied to humans and/or animals.
An applicant has 3 months to respond to official actions sent by the Patent Office. A further 3 month extension, may be requested if required.
A divisional application can be filed at any time during examination.
Vietnam is not a party to the Budapest Treaty.
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.
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.
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.
No patent term extension is available in Vietnam.
Vietnam has a limited form of data exclusivity period for drugs including biologics, which lasts from the date the trial data is filed to the date of expiration of the five-year marketing authorisation.