Vietnam

VietnamCapital: Hanoi
Capital Timezone: GMT + 7
Population: 90,388,000 (est. 2013)
Languages: Vietnamese (official) & English
Currency: Vietnam Dong (VND)
Legal System: Civil Law

Key issues

• All litigation and prosecution in Vietnamese
• A relatively large market with a growing middle class and consumer appetite for products from electronic goods to pharmaceuticals
• A manufacturing base for many multi-national corporations
• Ranked 116th in the world for IP protection in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2013/2014

Enforcement

• An enforceable jurisdiction with both administrative and civil actions. Criminal actions can be brought in limited circumstances
• Administrative actions are usually preferred as they are relatively quick and cost-effective if the aim is to stop the infringement. Additional sanctions and remedies are available
• Very few litigation cases – courts and judges have little or no experience handling patent litigation. Infringement remedies include injunctions, damages (based on actual losses), public apologies or rectification, and destruction of infringing goods or articles
• Preliminary injunctions are available
• Potential for alternative dispute resolution in IP matters via mediation or arbitration

Prosecution

• National phase entry deadline for PCT applications in Vietnam: 31 months (extendable by up to 6 months)
• Subject matter excluded from patentability:
– discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods
– schemes, plans, rules or methods for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games, doing business
– computer programs
– presentation of information
– solutions of aesthetic characteristics only
– plant varieties, animal varieties
– process of essentially biological nature for production of plants/animals other than microbiological processes
– disease prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods for humans and animals
– inventions contrary to the interest of society, public order or harmful to national defence and security (includes gambling-related inventions)
• Examination may be expedited if claims are amended to conform to allowed claims from a developed patent jurisdiction
• Voluntary Divisional applications are possible; however, a divisional application must be directed to subject matter that is different from the parent application. Also, a further divisional application of a divisional application is not possible

Other issues

• Opposition and invalidation procedures are available
• No Patent Term Extension
• Parallel importation – available
• Foreign filing license – not available. First-filing in Vietnam is required for inventions made in Vietnam; failure to do so may result in loss of protection in Vietnam
• Pharmaceutical Data Exclusivity Laws – data protection for up to 5 years
• Participant in the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC)

For more information contact us on mail@fak.com.au or +61 7 3011 2200.