Overview of Vietnam

Capital: Hanoi

Population: 91,519,289 (est. 2012)

Languages: Vietnamese (official), English

Area: 331,210 km²

Currency: đồng (VND)

Legal System: Civil law system

Patent Practice Summary

Filing Statistics


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


  • An enforceable jurisdiction with both administrative and civil actions.
  • 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


  • 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)

Filing Requirements in Vietnam




  • Intellectual Property Department of the Economic Services Bureau



  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization

Please complete these details to download your free copy of our Trade Marks Guide for Australia.

Thank you for providing your information. Please click ‘Submit’ and you will then be able to download the guide by clicking the ‘Download publication in PDF’ link.