1/ General required documents for filing Patent/Utility Model Registration in Vietnam (Patent Registration)

In order to file a Patent Application in Vietnam, please provide us with the following documents:

- Instruction letter containing Title of the Invention, name(s) and address(es) of the Applicant(s) and Inventor(s);
- Power of Attorney (POA) – Original
- Specification, claim, abstract and drawing (if any) in English – via email is acceptable

2/ General information for Patent/Utility Model Registration in Vietnam

- In Vietnam the deadline for PCT Patent application entering into National phase 31 months from Priority date and Paris Convention application is 12 months from the Priority date.

- Power of Attorney forms need to be filed, but neither notarization nor legalization is required. If the forms cannot be submitted at filing, it is possible to file late as a response to the IP Vietnam’s Notification of Deficiencies (at a cost) within one month, with an extension of further two months, from the date of Office Action.

- Assignments are only required if the applicant of the priority application is different to the applicant of the Vietnamese application, or, the applicant is an individual but not an inventor of the application.

- Examination request can be filed either at filing or later. Deadline for request for substantive examination is 42 months for inventions and 36 months for utility solutions, either from priority date or from filing date if no priority is claimed.

- A certified copy of the Priority Document (for Paris Convention application) is required within three months from the filing date (with details needed at filing). Only the priority data is required at the time of filing (application number, filing date and country).

- In regard of providing Vietnamese translation of a patent application we would like to advise you that according to the current patent regulations, Vietnamese translation of a patent specification is required at filing. Therefore, we try to complete the translation to submit it at application filing date instructed by clients. We would highly appreciate it if a patent specification in English is sent to our firm in a well time so that we could have sufficient duration of time to do translation and to review in order to ensure its best quality before submission.

3/ Requirement or limitation about computer related inventions:

Requirement: Patents involving computer programs are a form of "patents made by computers", This phrase refers to subjects related to computers, computer networks or other programmable devices, in which features of claimed subject matters are carried out by computer programs.
Although computer programs are on the list of those which are not protected as patents but if the claims have technical characteristics and are really a technical solution, in order to solve a technical problems using technical means to produce a technical effect, they may be protected as patents. For example, a data processing operation is controlled by a computer program that theoretically could be done equally by special circuits, and the implementation of programs is always accompanied by physical effects, such as electrical current, and ordinary physical effects themselves are not sufficient for computer programs to have technical characteristics. However, if a computer program that, when run on a computer, creating other technical effects, in addition to the normal physical effects, then that program is capable of being protected as patents. These other technical effects may be known from prior arts. Technical effects in the above cases may be, for example, in controlling an industrial process, in processing data representing physical entities or in the performance of the main functions within the computer or its interface under the impact of this program and may, for example, affect the performance or safety of the process, the management of resources of the computer or the data transfer rate on the transmission line. Therefore, a computer program can be regarded as capable of being protected as patents if the program, when run on a computer, can create technical effects beyond the typical interaction between the program and the computer.

Limitation: However, even in the case of a computer program capable of being protected as inventions as described above, in the claims, the subject matters represented by phrases such as “computer programs”, “computer software”, “computer program/software product”, or “program-carrying signal”, and other similar terms are not acceptable. A computer program can be protected as subject matters, for example, methods to operate a conventional device, devices installed to carry out a method, carriers containing programs to carry out a method.

4/ Subject matters not protected as inventions 

The following subject matters shall not be protected as inventions:
1. Discoveries, scientific theories; mathematical methods;
2. Schemes, plans, rules or methods for performing mental acts, training domestic animals, playing games, doing business; computer programs;
3. Presentations of information;
4. Solutions of aesthetic characteristics only;
5. Plant varieties, animal varieties;
6. Processes of essentially biological nature for the production of plants and animals other than microbiological processes;
7. Disease prevention, diagnostic and treatment methods for human or animals.