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Vietnam has joined the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Copyright Treaty (WCT), becoming its 111th member. Ambassador Le Thi Tuyet Mai, permanent representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and other international organizations in Geneva, handed over the instruments of accession to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director Daren Tang on November 17, 2021, in Geneva.  

The country’s accession to the WCT thus ushers in a new era for its IP ecosystem and creative sector which is besieged with the problem of online piracy. Vietnam’s legal system for copyright and related rights is outdated, leaving it unable to address the problem.  

In addition, the latest version of the Draft Amendment of IP Law (Draft IP Law) has been submitted to the National Assembly for appraisal and comments. The Draft IP Law, which adopts many new concepts for compliance with the international treaties and in line with Vietnam’s Development Strategies until 2030, has obtained high consensus among relevant stakeholders. This development brings Vietnam one step closer to the new IP Law’s issuance. Nine potential major changes under the Draft IP Law are related to copyright, industrial designs, trade secret, general provisions on industrial property, trademark, plant variety rights, patents, geographical indications and enforcement.  

The IP Office of Vietnam has also tightened the consideration of co-existence of confusingly similar marks based on Letter of Consent. 

 

 

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Established in 2001, Hanoi-based Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants handles the full-range of IP services, from registration, prosecution, transactional services to litigation and enforcement of IP rights. The strong team has advised for domestic and international corporations such as GM, Daewoo, Hyundai, Honda, Lenovo, Lotte and Schneider Electric. The firm is one of the five largest IP firms in the country in terms of the number of patent and trademark applications filed. Leading practitioners are Nguyen Duc Xuan for patent and trademark work, Pham Thi Tuoi for trademark work. Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants was named Vietnam copyright firm of the year at the 2021 Asia IP Awards. 

With its head office in Ho Chi Minh City, Aliat Legal, established in 2005, also has offices in Ha Tinh, Hanoi, Can Tho City, Bac Ninh City and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The firm tailors focused legal advice and practical commercial solutions for its clients, and adopts a pro-active approach to practice. Its service areas include patents and utility models, copyrights and privacy, trademarks and geographical indications, industrial designs, plant variety protection, IP licensing and franchising, IPR enforcement and litigation, IP portfolio and due diligence and software and domain names.  

Ambys Hanoi Law Firm delivers a one-stop solution to its clients in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Its service areas include patent and utility models, trademark, copyright, industrial design, licensing and technology transfer, enforcement, renewal and extension. The firm is a member of the Vietnam Industrial Property Association (VIPA) and international IP associations including ASEAN-IPA, the Asian Patent Attorney Association (APAA), INTA and AIPPI. 

Annam IP & Law is an IP-focused firm which provides the full range of IP services to protect inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and other matters in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. The firm is also set up to provide advice on corporate and business law. Le Quoc Chien is the firm’s managing partner; Le Loc Ha heads the patent division and Dzang Hieu Hanh the trademark division.  

A&S Law is an IP and business law firm with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. The firm’s service areas are trademarks, design, patent, copyright, IP enforcement and portfolio management. Its success is based on delivering qualified, excellent and valuable advice to clients ranging from individuals, small and medium enterprises to large scale firms. Founder and managing director Do Ba Thich is a primary contact. 

The IP teams at Baker McKenzie in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have played an instrumental role in helping both local and multinational clients realize the value of their IP portfolios. The firm is represented before the NOIP, courts and authorities by BMVN International, a fully-licensed law firm and IP agent. Partner Tran Manh Hung heads the firm’s IP practice in Vietnam. Partner Minh Tri Quach in Hanoi is a key contact. The firm was named the 2023 trademarks firm of the year for Vietnam at the Asia IP Awards in Singapore; it was also recognized for its regional patent work.  

Banca Intellectual Property was founded in 1998 by Thi Hong Van Tran, one of the first people qualified and admitted as a Vietnamese Trademark and Patent Attorney in 1990. The firm claims more than 500 clients and more than 20,000 successful cases over the years. Partner and IP representative Hong Nhung Pham is a key IP contact; Hai Anh Nguyen leads the firm’s litigation department. Clients include Procter & Gamble, Syngenta, Bayer, Nestlé and FIFA. 

As one of the top corporate law firms in the country, the IP team at Bizconsult Law Firm has been providing full services of IP protection as well as viable and comprehensive solutions for clients since 1988. In particular, the firm’s expertise focuses on the full spectrum of IP rights including patents, trademarks, designs, layout of integrated circuits, varieties of plants, trade secrets, copyright and related rights, informative technology and domain names. Managing partner and patent and trademark attorney Nguyen Anh Tuan heads up the firm’s IP practice.  

The IP practice at full-service firm Bross & Partners boasts a client list including corporations listed in Forbes Magazine’s “Asia’s 200 best under 1 billion USD” list, companies in the “Top 500 Vietnamese Largest Private Enterprises (VNR500)” list and a great deal of regional and local entrepreneurs. Hanoi-based senior partner Le Quang Vinh is a key IP contact at the firm; he has more 15 years of experience in advising and representing regional and international industrial and commercial groups on the spectrum range of IP rights-related issues. 

IP specialist Detech & Associates was founded in 1991 with the aim of strengthening IP protection to promote investment and technology transfer in Vietnam. Staffed with more than 20 professionals, its practice is devoted to representing domestic and foreign clients in establishing and enforcing their rights in Vietnam and overseas. The firm is also experienced in consultation and prosecution of licensing agreements, technology transfer arrangements, and related matters.  

Hanoi-based D&N International has extensive experience advising domestic and foreign clients in all aspects of IP. With its expertise in anti-counterfeiting and enforcement, the firm helped organize numerous successful raids which led to the seizure and destruction of large amounts of fake and imitation goods throughout the country. Its clients include global brands such as eBay, the Hershey Company, LG and Samsung. Its IP practice covers Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Dang Thi Hong Thuy, Dang Thi Hong Nga and Dang Thi To Hang are key partners. 

Frasers Law Company is a full-service commercial firm and was the first firm to obtain a foreign law company license in the country. The IP practice is led by senior lawyer Nguyen Van Vien, who is one of the founders of the IP system in Vietnam and has more than 30 years of experience in the field. His practice focuses on all trademark matters, including registration and enforcement work.  

IP specialist Gintasset has its head office in Hanoi and a branch office in Ho Chi Minh. It is staffed with qualified patent lawyers, engineers and scientists from various fields of expertise. The firm provides a full range of IP services that include providing legal advice on trademarks and issues related to IP law, helping customers register copyright, establishing and enforcing industrial property rights for inventions, utility solutions, trademarks, industrial designs of customers from Vietnam and other countries. Its practice areas include biological sciences, computer software, electrical and mechanical engineering, chemicals, semiconductors and telecommunications.  

Hogan Lovells’ IP team does applications, registrations, oppositions, commercialization, transfers and enforcement for trademarks, patents, copyright as well as other related rights and issues, such as domain name protection, for numerous high-profile clients including Apple, ExxonMobil, Ford and Guess. Gaston Fernandez is the firm’s office managing partner for both its Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi teams. Senior associate My Doan in Ho Chi Minh City is a key contact. 

The IP and technology practice at Indochine Counsel is headed by partner Nguyen Thi Hong Anh. With both legal and technical backgrounds, she has been in practice as a patent and trademark attorney for over 20 years. The team offers a broad range of services in intellectual property and related matters. Managing partner Dang The Duc is a key contact for counsel on tech matters; he is also friendly and willing to share his wealth of information about Vietnam’s legal system. He led the firm in its representation of Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco Group) in the acquisition of a 100 percent stake in E-mart Vietnam Co. from South Korea’s largest retailer, E-mart Inc. As part of the deal, the parties have also entered into a strategic franchise arrangement whereby E-mart will no longer operate its brand discount stores in Vietnam, but all stores will be operated by Thaco using the E-mart brand.  

INVENCO is one of the country’s oldest full-service IP law firms; it is sponsored by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations. The firm is presently handling more than 10,000 patent applications and more than 12,000 trademark applications through its offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Xuan Quynh Le is president of the firm; she has strong relationships with Vietnamese ministries and senior Vietnamese government officials. Managing partner Thanh Dieu Nguyen specializes in litigation, IP enforcement and licensing matters.  

InvestConsult Group is the oldest and one of the largest private consultant companies in Vietnam. From offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, its IT department focuses primarily on franchising, licensing and branding issues, but is also involved in prosecution and enforcement matters. Established in 1989, the firm boasts of a comprehensive local knowledge of legal and cultural matters, thus allowing them to come up with solutions in sync with Vietnam’s legal and economic issues. The firm is staffed with over 40 lawyers and 150 employees. Notable clients include FIFA, Walt Disney and Vietnam Airlines.  

INVESTIP was founded in 1988 by experts who have played important roles in the development of IP in Vietnam; it was one of the first IP firms in the country. The firm is led by Nguyen Anh Ngoc, deputy director general and branch manager; Nguyen Trong Tu, deputy general director and director of trademark and enforcement; and Nguyen Duc Thang, director of patent and design. 

IPMax Law Firm is a boutique intellectual property firm that advises on a full range of IP matters in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. In addition to patent, trademark, design and copyright work, the firm also advises clients on issues relating to the protection of plant variety and plant breeders’ rights, including the preparation and prosecution of applications for registration of new plant varieties at the New Plant Variety Protection Office under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The firm is based in Hanoi. Managing partner Son Doan is a key contact.  

A full-service law firm in Hanoi, Kenfox IP and Law Office has clients in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and other Asian jurisdictions. These include startups, governments, state-owned entities and leading business enterprises across multiple industries – from life sciences, engineering, telecommunication, energy and computer science to media, healthcare, financial services and consumer goods. The firm’s lawyers and attorneys work closely together to formulate objectives, develop budgets and undertake regular reviews to monitor their progress as far as their legal work for their clients is concerned.  

KPMG Law gained entry to the Vietnam legal scene in December 2022 when it entered into an agreement with Kuala Lumpur-based ZICO Law and acquired a number of law firms that had been part of the ZICO Law network. Australian Richard Stapley-Oh heads KPMG Law in Vietnam; his practice focuses on M&A, corporate advisory, labour law, real estate and related practices. Partner Nguyen Mai Phuong, a former ZICO Law partner, advises on global trading matters and leads the firm’s Hanoi office. Binh Tran is a director and a key contact for IP matters; he was also a lawyer at ZICO Law. 

Lê & Lê engages in prosecution, litigation and licensing of IPRs and has represented or advised clients in fields including computing, telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, biotechnology and sport. Clients have attested to the firm’s brand of service characterized by its focus on the quality of output rather than the volume of work it handles, its highly-specialized knowledge of IP, its ability to successfully represent its clients in complex disputes and its high-quality work in trademark, among others. Some of its notable clients are Adidas Group, Apple Inc., AFC, WHO, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group. 

Lexcomm Vietnam has a sizeable, experienced TMT team led by Viet Ha Nguyen, who is known as a skilled negotiator with nearly a quarter century of advice on contracts and regulatory matters. The firm offers particular expertise in the television and film space, advising on regulatory issues relating to the crossover of technology and entertainment. The firm has advised a leading oil and gas company in relation to the ability to install a private telecom network in Vietnam for its oil and gas operations. Nguyen Viet Ha, the firm’s founding partner, is a key contact for IP, TMT and retail/distribution matters. 

LNT & Partners is a commercially-minded IP practice in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, which strives to help clients fully leverage their IP. The practice group handles biotech, franchising, outsourcing, pharmaceuticals and tech, media and telecom work. The firm represented one of the largest global electronics conglomerates from South Korea in a ground-breaking copyright infringement case involving Smart TVs, apps and online karaoke, and a sizeable non-profit organization in Vietnam in a significant trademark infringement lawsuit involving administrative and court proceedings. 

Mirandah Asia handles Vietnam IP issues through its offices in Hanoi and from Singapore, where director Gladys Mirandah brings more than 35 years of IP experience. The firm is noted for its work in ASEAN countries and elsewhere, and has offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Brunei, Manila and Bangkok, as well as significant experience in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and India.  

Not only is Pham & Associates the oldest (and one of Vietnam’s premier) IP law firms, it is also one of the biggest filers in the country. The firm provides one of the best all-around IP services in the country from offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Its staff of more than 100 works in a broad range of technical areas including pharmaceuticals, chemistry, telecommunication, mechanics, electronics, biotechnology and material science. Its respected work in patent prosecution and enforcement has attracted an international clientele, including Honda, BMW and Johnson & Johnson. The firm was named the 2023 patents firm of the year for Vietnam at the Asia IP Awards in Singapore. 

The IP team at Phuoc & Partners is experienced in handling a wide variety of IP issues. Practice areas include patents, trademarks, copyright and trade secrets, unfair competition, licensing, transfer and litigation. The team has a deep understanding of Vietnam’s regulations from an international business perspective. Likewise, it is up to date with IP laws and their evolution in the face of technology’s continuous growth which has given rise to the internet and ecommerce, among others. 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers is the Vietnam branch of regional practice Rajah & Tann Asia. It has offices in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Combining legal expertise with in-depth knowledge of the industries where their clients operate, the team is armed with skillsets for contentious and non-contentious IP work with special focus on sports, media, IT and entertainment industries. The group is led by managing partner Chau Huy Quang, who is active in the firm’s IP, commercial litigation and international arbitration practices. He is one of the country’s most capable litigators, advising clients including Perfetti Van Melle and Sony.  

RHTLaw Vietnam traces its roots to 2005 when the firm PBC Partners was established by a team of Vietnamese lawyers. In 2016, PBC Partners engaged in a joint venture with one of the largest law firms in Singapore to form RHTLaw Vietnam. The firm now has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, as part of the RHTLaw Asia network of more than 2,000 legal experts.  

Global IP consultancy Rouse Legal Vietnam has been providing IP prosecution and enforcement services in Vietnam since 1993. From offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it has served multinationals including Adidas, Coca-Cola and Hermes. Through its association with Sao Bac Dau IP, the firm has handled a range of administrative actions against infringers in Vietnam. Principal and country manager Yen Vu is a key contact. 

Russin & Vecchi was the only foreign law firm in Vietnam from 1967 to 1975. Its IP practice involves registration, defense of trademarks and patents, technology transfer and licensing agreements. Among its clients are Wells Fargo, Qualcomm, Burger King, Hyatt Corporation, Amway Corporation, World Trade Center, Jotun A/S and an American chipmaker. Sesto Vecchi and Do Anh Tuan are leading practitioners.  

Schmitt & Orlov operates in Greater China, Hong Kong, Russia and CIS countries, and Southeast Asia including Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where its office is located in Ho Chi Minh City, as S&O IP. It covers the full scope of IP services: trademarks, patents, industrial designs, copyrights, domain names, cybersquatting and online infringements, trade secrets, unfair competition, contractual IP, and provides wide range protection for its clients – from prosecution to enforcement of their rights, negotiation and drafting. Hau Nguyen, deputy director for the firm in Southeast Asia, and Daniel Greif, director for the firm in Southeast Asia, are key contacts. The firm was named the 2023 copyright firm of the year for Vietnam at the Asia IP Awards in Singapore. 

SB Law provides the full range of intellectual property services, from patent, trademark, industrial design and copyright to domain name, enforcement and commercial exploitation of IP rights. The firm has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and associated offices in other regions. Its offices in Vietnam are helmed by five partners with around 40 lawyers and legal professionals. Nguyen Thanh Ha leads the firm as its chairman and managing partner. 

T&T Invenmark in Hanoi is led by general director and patent and trademark attorney Le Xuan Thao, formerly a lecturer at the Technical Military University (Ministry of National Defense), a legal officer at the National Office of Intellectual Property and president of Invenco Vietnam International Law Firm. The firm has a strong working relationship with the National Scientific Council, who are experienced and expert advisors and can deliver professional services to customers. 

Led by managing director Thomas J. Treutler, Tilleke & Gibbins handles all aspects of IP including anti-counterfeiting and strategic filing. In terms of contentious work, the firm has full in-house investigative teams in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, staffed with seasoned experts who have worked for top international law firms as well as law enforcement. It is one of the largest IP registration practices, with over 1,000 patent and trademark filings annually, in Vietnam. Moreover, the firm has argued some of the first patent infringement cases ever heard by Vietnamese courts during the past few years. Key contact Loc Xuan Le is a Hanoi-based principal at the firm’s Vietnam affiliate, T&G Law Firm (TGVN). Linh Thi Mai Nguyen, Trung Nguyen and Hien Thi Thu Vu are also key practitioners. Clients include Bulgari, Marriott International, Cole Haan, Merck, Pfizer, Thermos, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and Otis Elevator. At the 2023 Asia IP Awards in Singapore, Tilleke & Gibbins was recognized for its regional trademark work. 

Tran H.N. & Associates was the first private intellectual property law firm to be registered in Vietnam. Founder Tran Huu Nam specializes in IP and technology transfer work, and has practiced extensively in all areas of business law. Peter Irwin is consulting director of international law at the firm and a lecturer in international business law programmes at the graduate and post-graduate levels at universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The firm is admitted to practice before the courts and administrative bodies.  

Tri Viet & Associates was founded in 2004 by three patent lawyers and attorneys with 30 years of experience in IP prosecution, enforcement and litigation between them. One of them is managing partner Nguyen Duc Long, who has handled over 1,000 patent applications (especially PCT applications) for clients in the U.S., UK, Japan, France, Germany, South Korea and Taiwan. Nguyen is also experienced in enforcement, litigation and other related-patent issues. The firm’s office is in Hanoi. 

Trung Thuc provides services in all areas of intellectual property law, including acquisition, prosecution, maintenance and enforcement of trademarks, patents, copyright and licensing matters in Vietnam. The firm represents clients in motor engineering, telecommunications, pharmaceutical and biotech industries from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia and other countries. The firm’s pool of patent attorneys is regarded not only for their experience but also for the fact that practitioners and clients from around the world highly recommend them for the quality of their work and premium service. Viet Thang Nguyen is senior partner.  

Founded under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, VCCI-IP has cooperated with about 700 international law firms and represented more than 1,000 clients including the likes of NTT Docomo, Mitsubishi, Sony, Panasonic, Nissan and Toyota. It has also involved in around 40 percent of Japanese patents and 60 percent of foreign patents filed in Vietnam. Tran Huy Phuong is the president.  

Viet An Law Firm has its head office in Hanoi and a branch in Ho Chi Minh City. Led by founder Do Thi Thu Ha, who holds a Ph.D. in economic law, the team consists of 40 lawyers, legal consultants, experts and partners. Its IP practice covers trademark registration and renewals, copyright, patent, industrial design and commercial franchise. Samsung, Lotte, Jetstar, Hyundai, Toyota, Mercedes Benz are some of the firm’s clients.   

The IP group at Vision & Associates handles all aspects of IP including filings and prosecutions for patents, trademarks, copyright, designs and Internet domain names; availability searches; licensing and franchising; assignments and renewals; technology transfer; franchising and distribution; as well as enforcement. It has acted for Unilever in an infringement investigation against a local company which resulted in a seizure and destruction of over 5,000 infringing products. Other notable clients include HP, P&G and Coca-Cola. The firm’s IP practice also covers Laos and Cambodia, aside from Vietnam. 

WINCO is a local IP firm with a head office in Hanoi and a branch office in Ho Chi Minh City. Among its full range of IP services are searching, filing, prosecuting, maintaining, enforcing rights for patents, designs, trademarks and copyrights. Founding member La Huu Da has represented independent and large multinationals and has given lectures and seminars at universities.  

ZICO Law no longer has a presence in Vietnam, following a deal with KPMG Law in December 2022, under which many of the ZICO member firms joined KPMG, including the former ZICO practice in Vietnam. 

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