General Procedures for PCT Patent Entry into Vietnam National Phase:

  1. Initiation of National Phase Entry:

The process begins with the applicant submitting a request to enter the national phase in Vietnam to the Intellectual Property Office (VNIPO) within 31 months from the priority date. Earlier entry to national phase is possible, and the applicant should consult with their IP Agent for details.

  1. Filing Requirements

The applicant should provide PCT number to the IP Agent, and they can get all information on Patent scope from WIPO to finalize the application. However, for exact and easy to edit, the applicant should provide the following documents:

– English specification of the international application (and Vietnamese specification if available); any amendment if any.

– A copy of the international search report (ISR) and written opinion (WO).

– An original Power of attorney duly signed and sealed by legal person of the applicant

– Any amendments made during the international phase (if applicable).

  1. Examination Process

Upon receipt of the application, the VNIPO conducts a formality, then publish for opposition before going to substantive examination to assess the patentability criteria, including novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, in accordance with Vietnamese patent law.

If any objections are identified during examination, the VNIPO issues office actions and providing an opportunity for the applicant to respond and rectify the issues within a specified timeframe (2 months for formality stage and 3 months for substantive examination stage)

The applicant may amend the application or provide arguments and evidence to address the objections raised by the VNIPO in the office actions. It is essential to comply with the procedural requirements and deadlines set by the NOIP to avoid abandonment of the application.

  1. Important notes

– Timely Entry into National Phase: It is crucial to adhere to the 31-month deadline for entering the national phase in Vietnam to avoid losing patent rights.

– Translation Requirements: All documents submitted to the VNIPO must be translated into Vietnamese. It is advisable to engage professional translators to ensure accuracy and compliance.

– Procedural Compliance: Strict adherence to procedural requirements and deadlines set by the VNIPO is essential throughout the national phase entry process to prevent delays or abandonment of the application.

– Legal Representation: It is mandatory to authorize a local patent agent familiar with Vietnamese patent law and procedures can facilitate the process and enhance the likelihood of success.

– Patent Term: The term of a patent granted in Vietnam is 20 years from the international filing date. Annuities must be paid annually to maintain the patent in force beyond the initial grant.

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