Following a review of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program for the 1st period of 2019-2021, the Vietnam Intellectual Property Office (IP Vietnam) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) have agreed to renew the pilot VN-KR-PPH program for the next 2 years, starting from 1 June 2021 to 31 May 2023. There will be a maximum of 100 requests available to be filed each year in Vietnam. Vietnamese patent applications eligible for the VN-JP PPH program must meet the prescribed requirements. The requirements and procedures for extended PPH program are the same as those of the 1st period.

Procedures and timeline under VN-JP-PPH program

IP Vietnam will review and decide if the application is qualified for the PPH. The applicant is given the opportunity to provide missing documents when informed by IP Vietnam. Even if IP Vietnam says that an application does not meet the requirements of the PPH program, the applicant can apply again if the maximum number of requests is not reached in the prescribed time period.

Currently, IP Vietnam issues the first Office Action in 9 months from the starting date of substantive examination period (half the time of the statutory 18 month-period).