Vietnam

Two international treaties have been shaking up the IP environment in Vietnam. In 2018, the government signed and ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The following June, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed a draft law to bring the national IP legislation in line with the CPTPP, with implementation from early November 2019. Also in June 2019, the signing of the EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement as commits Vietnam to what the European Commission has described as “a high level of intellectual property protection that goes beyond the WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement”.

Firms

  • BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie 
  • Pham & Associates 
  • Rouse Legal
  • Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Vision & Associates
  • D&N International
  • Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • IPMAX Law Firm
  • LÊ & LÊ
  • Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants
  • Ahoa Law Office
  • Ambys
  • Bross & Partners
  • InvestConsult Group
  • Investip Intellectual Property Law Firm
  • RHTLaw Asia Vietnam
  • Schmitt & Orlov

Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants

“The highly dependable and experienced attorneys at Ageless IP are responsive and always focused on providing top-quality services at competitive rates.” The Hanoi firm has been steadily expanding in the past few years, with its trademark prosecution practice increasing by 10% in response to a slew of new clients from China, Korea and Taiwan. Sources highlight the outfit’s strong expertise when it comes to handling office actions. Having persevered through appeals to the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), managing partner Duc Xuan Nguyen has won plaudits for successfully registering the ‘Booking.com’ trademarks – foreign associates value Nguyen’s “professional and pragmatic” advice.

Ahoa Law Office

Ahoa Law Office debuts in the WTR 1000 this year. Founded in 2003 as Ambys Saigon, Ahoa is an IP and business law practice with a solid reputation for IP enforcement. Leading the Ho Chi Minh City firm since its inception is Minh Huong Nguyen, a former NOIP examiner revered for her “prodigious caseload” of enforcement matters.

Ambys

Ambys is a well-respected law firm with an enviable track record of representing international clients and reputation for “top-notch advice delivered in a timely manner”. The Hanoi outfit, is fronted by managing director Thu Anh Nguyen, who enjoys a distinguished standing among Vietnamese trademark professionals. Tran Tuyet Trinh is the main point of contact for the Hanoi office.

BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie 

BMVN is the local entity of global law firm Baker McKenzie, which operates the largest IP team by headcount in Vietnam. “BMVN is a force to be reckoned with in the Vietnamese trademark community, fulfilling the trademark needs of a plethora of large multinationals.” The firm is exceptionally strong in enforcement, having conducted close to 15% of all the raid actions in the country last year. Newly ranked partner Minh Tri Quach is a dab hand at anti-counterfeiting campaigns, as well as entertainment and media law. A top IP filer, BMVN routinely adopts innovative strategies to obtain trademark rights for clients. Most recently, special counsel Thi Kieu Hoa Tran and practice head Manh Hung Tran utilised market survey results and testimonies from linguistics experts to overcome NOIP’s provisional refusal to register a mark belonging to a fast-moving consumer goods client, based on Article 73.5 of the IP Law. Both practitioners straddle the contentious/non-contentious divide and enjoy a stellar reputation in Vietnam.

Bross & Partners

Uncompromising reliability makes it easy for clients to count on Bross & Partners. One interviewee enthuses that: “work is always completed on time and unlike with other firms, my last-minute instructions have never been turned down. Instead, I am safe in the knowledge that they would be properly taken care of. More importantly, responsiveness does not come at the cost of quality as complicated enquiries are given the due consideration before a substantial response is made.” Utilising a positive opinion from the Vietnam IP Research Institute, IP practice director Le Quang Vinh recently represented a European rights holder in enforcing its 2D and 3D trademarks to superb effect through fruitful cooperation with MOST and Customs; he is also taking an increasingly active role in extra-curricular activities through his role as researcher for the MOST-INTA Well-Known Marks Project.

D&N International

The well-established D&N International is a cosmopolitan Hanoi law firm with an overseas outpost in Paris. Thuy Dang helms this illustrious practice, which she founded in 1992; she is a consummate adviser with close to three decades’ experience at the cutting edge of intellectual practice. As well as shouldering the portfolio management responsibilities for an impressive rosta of domestic and foreign clients, D&N attorneys have a knack for tackling infringement. Working closely with the inspectorates team at MOST, Dang Hong Nga and Dang Thi To Hang successfully enforced SK Shipping’s trademark and domain name in just 18 months, with the case culminating in administrative sanctions against the infringer and the cessation of infringement.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Peers appraise Hogan Lovells as a “sturdy practice that routinely secures excellent results for its an eminent clientele, especially when it comes to complex matters”. Operating under the firm-wide Total Brand Care concept, the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh bureaux undertake advertising, labelling and regulatory issues in addition to the full gamut of trademark prosecution, enforcement and transactional work. Nga Nguyen is a “doyenne of Vietnam trademark” and known as a highly versatile operator in the IP space. Huyen Vu is a WTR 1000 debutante boasting “extensive experience in engaging Vietnamese authorities”. Formerly manager assistant at Rouse Legal, she is a diligent portfolio manager and transactional lawyer.

InvestConsult Group

InvestConsult Group has been a noteworthypresence on the Vietnamese IP scene ever since its inception in 1989. Vice chair and head of Hanoi office Thi Thu Ha Pham is a key contact.

Investip Intellectual Property Law Firm

Trail-blazing IP law firm Investip was founded in 1988 and, to date, remains “one of the most prestigious firms IP firms in Vietnam”. Director of trademark and litigation department Anh Ngoc Nguyen is a name to keep on speed dial.

IPMAX Law Firm

IPMAX is an “outstanding” boutique IP firm founded by the preeminent Son Doan whose enforcement knowhow is one of, if not the best in Vietnam. An expert on MOST and NOIP ad hoc panels for resolving complex trademark disputes, Doan also reviews the teaching materials for training enforcement authorities. An ardent INTA participant, he is a member of the taskforce overseeing the implementation of the MOST-INTA Well-Known Marks Project. Under his leadership, the firm has amassed an enviable clientele of household brands and is now branching out to provide commercial law services.

LÊ & LÊ

LÊ & LÊ offers patrons an A-to-Z trademark service from its two Hanoi offices. Its extensive track record of successfully representing such iconic trademarks as ADIDAS, BUDWEISER and SUNKIST before the Vietnamese authorities is its chief claim to fame. Hoai Duong Le is an old hand renowned for the depth of his advice: “his expertise in trademarks is unquestionably superb.”

Pham & Associates 

Pham & Associates sets the bar for quality advice; it is also one of the two gold-ranked domestic practices in the WTR 1000 Vietnam chapter. Given the firm’s “meticulous internal management”, its large team of trademark practitioners is well-suited to processing large volumes of work. Managing director Vu Khanh Toan Pham inspires a great deal of confidence among clients and peers alike. He is a safe pair of hands who has been in private practice for upwards of 30 years. Xuan Thu Nguyen is another name to watch out for.

RHTLaw Asia Vietnam

Breaking into the rankings this year, RHTLaw Asia Vietnam is the product of a 2016 joint venture between the former PBC Partners and RHTLaw Asia Singapore. This full-service law firm tackles prosecution, enforcement and licensing instructions with verve thanks to the presence of Hanoi office head Dang Phuong Le. A Pham & Associates alumnus with significant in-house experience, she has 18 years’ expertise on which to call.

Rouse Legal

Rouse Legal is a heavyweight in the Southeast Asian market, with well-established presences in various ASEAN capitals. In Vietnam, “it has been making great strides” and is acting for two of the most influential global technology companies on both contentious and non-contentious mandates. Recently, the firm also deepened its pool of internationalised talents with the addition of Korean lawyer Yoonyoung Lee, who splits her time between Korea and Vietnam. Trademark department head Hai Anh Nguyen has a knack for crafting compelling arguments on the distinctiveness of trademarks through diligent communications with examiners – she can get marks to grant quickly and surely. Country manager and “first-class practitioner” Yen Vu rises to the gold tier this year on the back of her “superb efforts in developing the practice in Vietnam”. A versatile operator who shines across the contentious/non-contentious divide, her dazzling client list of blue-chip companies includes Hewlett Packard and Schaeffler Group. Finally, managing partner Chris Vale keeps a watchful eye on the practice from Hong Kong. Editor of the blog IP Mekong, he keeps his fingers on the pulse of developments in the ASEAN market.

Schmitt & Orlov

A transplant from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Schmitt & Orlov first established a Ho Chi Minh City presence in 2014. As the firm’s Southeast Asian hub, the Vietnamese practice has developed rapidly. Lately, it has been handling a plethora of enforcement cases for well-known, overseas brands. Hau Nguyen is a source of “timely and pragmatic advice charged at reasonable rates”.

Tilleke & Gibbins

Sitting atop the WTR 1000 Vietnam rankings table, Tilleke & Gibbins invariably works wonders on the portfolios, and enforcement or transactional briefs entrusted to its Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices. With such an impeccable reputation, it is no surprise that the outfit has been substantially boosting its client base with yet more household-name multinationals, including representatives from Big Pharma as well as renowned technology companies. On the foreign associates front, its deep well of IP expertise is sought after by Kim & Chang, Lee & Li and SKRINE – trademark practices at the apex of the WTR 1000 rankings in Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia respectively. Thomas Treutler is the heart and soul of the firm. A fluent Vietnamese speaker with 24 years’ experiencing practising in the country, he provides international clients with unmatched confidence in procuring, protecting and commercialising soft and hard IP rights in Vietnam. His team includes Loc Xuan Le, Linh Duy Mai and Tu Ngoc Trinh. Le is an enforcement maestro who has forged positive working relationships with a multitude of local and national authorities. He often teams up with fellow T&G Law Firm attorney Mai to who mobilise government agencies and departments to enforce clients’ trademark and domain names, in particular the Vietnam Competition Authority and Market Surveillance Department. Trinh is the go-to adviser for commercial and franchising briefs. Finally, Linh Thi Mai Nguyen is the firm’s trademark helmswoman, with a stellar track record of arguing and winning appeals and oppositions.

Vision & Associates

“Vision & Associates is among the most prestigious firms in Vietnam with a large prosecution practice.” Complete with a legal arm, the firm acts as a one-stop shop for all its clients trademark needs. Pham Nghiem Xuan Bac is a name for the contact book, with 32 years of experience across IP and commercial laws. Having been trained in IP enforcement by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Do Quang Hung is a formidable enforcer.

Other recommended experts

Formerly director of the Ho Chi Minh City office of INVESTIP, Bich Thuy Nguyen is IP director at Viet IP. Duy Khuong Pham is a consummate adviser on trademark prosecution and enforcement, as well as franchising; he plies his trade from SB Law and ASL Law. Huu Nam Tran of Tran HN & Associates has garnered plaudits for his work for Unilever, among others. Nguyen Van Vien is one of the godfathers – and co-founders of – the IP systems; today, he practises at Frasers Law Company.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Son Doan - IPMAX Law Firm
  • Loc Xuan Le - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Manh Hung Tran - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie
  • Yen Vu - Rouse Legal
  • Thuy TH Dang - D&N International
  • Linh Duy Mai - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Do Quang Hung - Vision & Associates
  • Dang T Hong Nga - D&N International
  • Hai Anh Nguyen - Rouse Legal
  • Hau Nguyen - Schmitt & Orlov
  • Minh Huong Nguyen - Ahoa Law Office
  • Nga Nguyen - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Vu Khanh Toan Pham - Pham & Associates
  • Dang Phuong Le - RHTLaw Asia Vietnam
  • Minh Tri Quach - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie
  • Thi Kieu Hoa Tran - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie
  • Le Quang Vinh - Bross & Partners

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Linh Thi Mai Nguyen - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Manh Hung Tran - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie
  • Thomas J Treutler - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Chris Vale - Rouse Legal
  • Yen Vu - Rouse Legal
  • Pham Nghiem Xuan Bac - Vision & Associates
  • Son Doan - IPMAX Law Firm
  • Dang Thi To Hang - D&N International
  • Hoai Duong Le - LÊ & LÊ
  • Anh Ngoc Nguyen - Investip Intellectual Property Law Firm
  • Bich Thuy Nguyen - Viet IP
  • Duc Xuan Nguyen - Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants
  • Hai Anh Nguyen - Rouse Legal
  • Hau Nguyen - Schmitt & Orlov
  • Nga Nguyen - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Thu Anh Nguyen - Ambys
  • Xuan Thu Nguyen - Pham & Associates
  • Duy Khuong Pham - SB Law/ASL Law
  • Thi Thu Ha Pham - InvestConsult Group
  • Dang Phuong Le - RHTLaw Asia Vietnam
  • Huu Nam Tran - Tran HN & Associates
  • Thi Kieu Hoa Tran - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie
  • Tran Tuyet Trinh - Ambys
  • Nguyen Van Vien - Frasers Law Company
  • Le Quang Vinh - Bross & Partners
  • Huyen Vu - Hogan Lovells International LLP

Individuals: transactions

  • Son Doan - IPMAX Law Firm
  • Dang Thi To Hang - D&N International
  • Tu Ngoc Trinh - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Manh Hung Tran - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie
  • Thi Kieu Hoa Tran - BMVN LLC, a member of Baker McKenzie