FAQs for Vietnam national phase entry of PCT applications

What is the time limit for PCT national phase entry in Vietnam?

Vietnam follows the 31-month time limit for entering a Vietnamese national phase of a PCT
application.


Is the late national phase entry in Vietnam for PCT applications possible?

Yes, the late national phase entry is still possible within the 6-month grace period after the
expiration of 31-month time limit.


How much does it cost to file a patent application in Vietnam?

It typically cost around US$1,200 to file a patent application in Vietnam with 1 independent
claim, 1 priority right, and 30 pages of specification.


Is there any difference in fees/charges applied to a patent application in Vietnam filed
under the PCT route and other routes of filing?

No. The same schedule of fees/charges shall be applied to all kinds of patent applications.


How long does it take to obtain a patent in Vietnam?

Normally it would take 3-4 years from the filing date to obtain a patent in Vietnam.


What are the minimum filing requirements in Vietnam?

Minimum filing requirements shall include the following:
– written request made in the standard form;
– patent specification including description, claim set, abstract, drawing set/sequence list and
amendments (made under Article 19 PCT, Article 34 PCT, or even voluntary amendment if any)
made in Vietnamese language; and
– fee and charge receipt.
From the above, it is noteworthy that the Vietnamese translation of the specification must be
available at the filing date.


What are requirements for Power of Attorney?

The Power of Attorney (POA) just needs to be signed. Notarization or legalisation is
unnecessary. The original signed POA must be submitted within 34 months from the earliest
priority date.


It is possible to make voluntary amendments to the claims at the time of National Phase
entry in Vietnam?

Yes, it is possible. In addition to the amendments, the applicant must also submit the amendment
supports to prove that such amendments do not expand beyond the protection scope disclosed in
the original application. The applicant can simply indicate the page/line numbers in the
description of the original PCT application which contain the information supporting the
amendments.


When does the processing of a PCT-derived application in the national phase start in
Vietnam?

According to Point 27.7 of the Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN, the time when the processing of an
international application designating or electing Vietnam in the national phase starts is the 1st
day of the 32nd month from the priority date if the applicant files no written request for entry
into the national phase earlier than the above time limits.


Can the processing of a PCT-derived application start earlier than the 32 nd month
computed from the priority date?

Yes, it can provided that an early processing request is lodged at the National Office of
Intellectual Property.


When is a PCT-derived patent application published?

According to Point 14.2 of the Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN, patent applications accepted as to
formality shall be published in the Official Industrial Property Gazette. A PCT-derived
application is usually published in the 2nd month from the date of acceptance as to the
application formality.


How long does the Formality Examination and the Substantive Examination take?

The Formality examination shall be conducted automatically within one (01) from the date of
entering into national phase with respect to the PCT applications. Substantive examination shall
only be taken under the request and last for 18 months from the request date or publication date,
whichever is later.


Which document should be submitted along with the Request for Substantive
Examination for a PCT-derived application?

When substantive examination of the application is requested, the Vietnamese translations of
annexes to the international preliminary examination report (Form PCT/ISA/237 or
PCT/IPEA/409) must be submitted.


Are there any possible ways to accelerate the substantive examination?

Yes. To accelerate the application process, the applicants are recommended to actively update
the Vietnamese Patent Examiners with information of equivalent patents granted by prestigious
patent offices such as EPO, USPTO, JPO or KIPO. Currently, the applicant may also take
advantage of the ASEAN Patent Examination Co-operation (ASPEC) or the Patent Prosecution
Highway (PPH) to speed up the examination process. However, the latter is merely under the
trial phase which is intended to end on March 31, 2019.


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