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1. General Information:

Invention is a technical solution which must be of worldwide novelty, involves inventive step and is applicable in various social and economic fields.

Utility solution is a technical solution which must also be of worldwide novelty and applicability but needs not to possess an attribute of inventive step.

The subject matter of inventions and utility solutions may be device, process, substance, microorganisms, cell culture, and use thereof in accordance with a new function. Subject matters excluded from protection: plant or animal varieties; method for prevention, diagnosis or treatment of diseases in human being, animals or plants; topographical design of integrated circuits; computer programs.

2. Patent Term:

The term of a patent for invention is 20 years or for utility solution is 10 years from the filing date.

3. Examination procedures:

According to Vietnam Patent Law, the patent applications shall have to undergo two examination stages, namely formality and substantive examination.

- Formality examination: The formality examination of patent application for invention/utility solution will be carried out within one (01) month from the filing date.

- Publication of legitimate patent application: Patent applications, which have been officially accepted by the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP), shall be published in the Industrial Property Gazette.

- Substantive examination: The substantive examination is only conducted if it is requested. The request for substantive examination can be filed by the applicant or any third party, and it must be filed within a period of 42 months for invention and 36 months for utility solution from the priority date.

The substantive examination will last 18 months from the receipt of the request for substantive examination if the request is submitted after publication of the application. In case the request is submitted before the publication of the application, this term shall be calculated from the date of publication of the application.

4. Required Information and Documents:

a. Information:

- Name and address of the applicant;

- Title of invention/utility solution;

- Data of convention priority, if any;

- Name and address of the inventor(s) (nationality, residence).

b. Documents

- For National Application:

- Patent specification including the patent description, claim, abstract and drawing, if any, and Vietnamese translation thereof;

- Deed of Assignment from the Inventor(s) to the Applicant if the Applicant and the Inventor(s) are not the same (this document must be submitted at the request of the NOIP only in the case the NOIP has reasonable grounds to doubt the Applicant's eligibility);

- Certified copy of the priority document if priority right is claimed. This copy should be filed within 3 months from the filing date, but the data must be given at the date of filing;

- Power of Attorney simply signed by the applicant;

- Power of Attorney (required at filing; a fax copy is acceptable at the filing and the original is submitted within three months from the filing date).

- Certified copi(es) of the priority document(s) (and required their sworn English translation(s) - if the priority document(s) are not in English - only when the NOIP requests to submit the Vietnamese version(s) of the priority document(s)), applicable where the Paris Convention Priority is claimed (required within three months from the filing date).

- For National Phase of PCT application

For a PCT application, the time limit for entering into the National Phase under Chapter I of PCT where Vietnam is designated is 21 months, and under Chapter II where Vietnam is selected is 31 months from the priority date.

To enter the National Phase, the following documents are required:

- Copy of the PCT application and amendments thereof according to Article 19 of PCT, if any;

- An English version of the specification, claims, any text matter of drawings and abstract (if any of those parts have been amended, then both as originally filed and as amended under PCT Articles 19 or 34) for the purpose of translation into Vietnamese;

- A Power of Attorney simply signed by the Applicant;

- A Deed of Assigment where the Applicant entering the National Phase is different from the Applicant having filed the International Application.

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