Vietnam’s National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) launched its first Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) as a pilot program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on April 1, 2016.

The program applies to Vietnamese patent applications (including Vietnamese national phase applications of PCT applications) which:

  1. Claim priority from a JPO application under the Paris Convention; or
  2. Are Vietnamese national phase applications of PCT applications which were filed with the JPO without priority claim; or
  3. Claim priority from a PCT application as referred to in (2) above under the Paris Convention.

Vietnamese applications which claim priority from multiple JPO or direct PCT applications, or which are divisional applications based on originally filed applications that meet one of the conditions above, are also eligible. However, a PPH request will not be accepted if the NOIP has already begun the examination of the application at the time the request is filed.

The program is intended to last three years and will be limited to 100 requests per year. The program is not applicable to JPO utility model applications.