Vietnam

A year after it was signed in June 2019, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) was ratified during the ninth session of the 14th National Assembly. An important milestone in EU-Vietnam relations, the agreement is expected to have significant economic benefits and includes a number of critical IP-related changes. Alongside the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and last year’s amendments to IP legislation, the EVFTA demonstrates Vietnam’s commitment to strengthening the rights of trademark owners and tackling IP infringement, which remains an issue in the region.

Firms

  • Baker McKenzie
  • IPMAX Law Firm
  • Pham & Associates 
  • Rouse
  • Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Vision & Associates
  • D&N International 
  • Hogan Lovells
  • LÊ & LÊ
  • Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants
  • Ahoa Law Office
  • Ambys
  • Bross & Partners
  • InvestConsult Group
  • InvestIP
  • RHTLaw Vietnam
  • Schmitt & Orlov

Ageless IP Attorneys & Consultants

Ageless is a trusted adviser to many household names, which appreciate its proactive approach and ability to secure protection seamlessly across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Well connected internationally, the firm also represents Vietnamese companies as they develop their brand footprints overseas, including in other Asian territories, as well as in Europe and the Americas. Setting pace for the group is managing partner Duc Xuan Nguyen, a prosecution and enforcement ace known for his powers of persuasion before the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP). Among the notable clients for which he routinely brings about successful outcomes is Musidor, which owns and monitors IP rights in connection with the Rolling Stones, including the group’s famous tongue and lips logo.

Ahoa Law Office

Intellectual property is a pillar of Ahoa Law Office’s wider commercial and investment consultancy offering. The ensemble dispenses a well-rounded trademark and IP service encompassing rights protection, management, enforcement and monetisation, and works efficiently, transparently and cost-effectively to bring about pleasing business results. As a former NOIP examiner, Minh Huong Nguyen knows what needs to be done to turn a trademark application into a successful registration; she is also a highly regarded enforcer who deals swiftly and decisively with any instances of infringement.

Ambys

The professionals at Ambys live and breathe intellectual property, taking to all manner of trademark tasks with gusto. Attuned to legal and business developments in its focused markets of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, the team prosecutes with precision, tackles disputes with confidence, and designs and executes effective IP value creation strategies – all of which endears it to the many large international and vital local companies with which it has cultivated long-standing relationships. At the forefront of the practice is Thu Anh Nguyen, a 30-plus-year IP veteran who can field just about any trademark or patent instruction. She knows Vietnamese IP law inside and out, having contributed to its drafting. Also recommended is Tran Tuyet Trinh, a savvy domestic and international trademark protector who demonstrates a deft touch on contentious administrative proceedings.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s local and global brand support package is fully comprehensive, making it the first choice of many of the world’s best-known companies. Whether securing trademark rights, combatting counterfeiting in close conjunction with local authorities or negotiating licensing and franchising agreements, its experts in Vietnam are guaranteed to have clever strategies at the ready. Excellent feedback marks the team out as “a step ahead of the competition”. “Its reliable practitioners really understand the local market and deliver effective solutions that address the unique business concerns of their clients.” Taking charge is Manh Hung Tran, one of the most influential voices in the Vietnamese IP discussion and a champion of robust IP systems and practices for all stakeholders in the market. In the most difficult cases, he is the go-to for any rights holder. Frequently collaborating with Tran, Thi Kieu Hoa Tran is a vital member of the team – particularly given the breadth of her expertise, which encompasses brand management, strategy and infringement, as well as unfair competition law and domain names. Baker McKenzie has another ace up its sleeve in Minh Tri Quach whose dynamism as an anti-counterfeiter leads to outstanding enforcement results.

Bross & Partners

Over the course of its 12-year existence, Bross & Partners has shown not only that it can efficiently handle routine trademark work, but that it can win highly complex contentious cases as well, resulting in consistent growth and well-deserved praise. “The team provides clear and succinct advice and legal opinions and analyses matters carefully so as to put forward convincing arguments on behalf of its clients.” The fulcrum around which the practice turns is Le Quang Vinh, a senior partner who draws on over two decades of experience to give astute advice across the contentious/non-contentious divide. Serving as head of trademarks, senior associate Khanh Linh Nguyen conducts error-free trademark, patent and design rights prosecution while overcoming obstacles in the form of rejections and oppositions with great agility.

D&N International 

Clients of D&N, which include many prestigious names, are treated to a “highly professional service characterised by timely communication, prompt and clear advice and reasonable fees”. The long-established firm is cited as “one of the best IP boutiques in Vietnam” and credited with an excellent wrap-around trademark service encompassing not only Vietnam but also Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. The team has prosecution on lock and navigates applications through to grant without blinking thanks to its vast filing experience. Similarly noteworthy is the ensemble’s anti-counterfeiting prowess; its professionals have overseen many successful campaigns against pirates and infringers and partner well with the relevant government authorities to guarantee results. Founding and managing partner Thuy Dang has been guided by a strong commitment to rights holders throughout her long career and is the designer of D&N’s service-minded ethos. She is an excellent guide on regional IP strategy. Taking the reins of the trademark and copyright department, Dang Thi To Hang stays the course in prosecution to get pleasing outcomes in the face of NOIP refusals – as she has recently shown for ALDI, Vodafone Group and many others. With Hang in their corner, brand owners are sure to see their portfolios expand and strengthen in Vietnam.

InvestConsult Group

InvestConsult has an excellent track record in obtaining, protecting, enforcing and commercialising intellectual property on behalf of famous international names from diverse sectors, including sports, pharmaceuticals and aviation. The group understands local laws and business culture throughout Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and other jurisdictions, making it an effective one-stop shop for those with regional IP concerns to address. Thi Thu Ha Pham serves as head of the Hanoi office and is an experienced practitioner for interested parties to call on.

InvestIP

An IP trendsetter, INVESTIP has contributed much to the development of trademark law and practice in Vietnam over the years. A popular choice for respected IP and commercial law firms the world over, as well as the many brand owners with which it has direct relations, the group works collaboratively and productively on varied trademark assignments from search and registration through to litigation and anti-counterfeiting proceedings. Deeply knowledgeable in trademark, copyright and design law, and skilled in both prosecution and litigation, Anh Ngoc Nguyen is a discerning choice for well-rounded and sage IP advice.

IPMAX Law Firm

Ascending to the WTR 1000 gold tier this year, IPMAX combines an international perspective with a “sophisticated knowledge and understanding of Vietnam’s legal and business landscape”. The highly specialised outfit has a history of breaking new trademark ground in Vietnam and its efforts have elevated the overall standards of protection available to rights holders across the country. While transactional IP work has become an increasingly important element of the practice, prosecution and enforcement remain the group’s bread and butter. When faced with difficult local conditions across all these areas, managing partner Son Doan and senior associate Van-Anh Hoang find the way forward. “Son has shaped IPMAX into a highly reliable collaborator. His team is extremely attentive and analyses matters in detail before giving clear and thoughtful advice, as opposed to simple yes or no answers.” For Doan, who is as versatile as they come, nothing is off limits when it comes to trademark practice. On the prosecution side, Hoang is lauded for her “deep knowledge, rapid responsiveness and efficiency”.

LÊ & LÊ

LÊ & LÊ has registered key trademarks for numerous celebrated companies, including adidas, Anheuser-Busch and Apple; it has also protected these names to the hilt in the face of threats and challenges, proving itself worthy of long-lasting trust. Active across the trademark lifecycle, the team provides local trademark watch services and monitors the market closely so that it can nimbly put in place the appropriate safeguards before any problems blow up. Providing strong leadership to a highly qualified and diversely experienced team is seasoned managing partner Hoai Duong Le. Despite having a rare faculty for complex, often multi-jurisdictional, trademark litigation, he is best described as a distinguished IP all-rounder.

Pham & Associates 

Pham & Associates is Vietnam’s oldest IP firm; throughout its nearly 30-year existence it has consistently fine-tuned its trademark service, which now ranks among the most complete and efficient – if not the best – in the country. Excellent in both prosecution and enforcement, the outfit deals comfortably with large volumes of work and has all the necessary tools to handle routine and unusual brand assignments. Managing director Vu Khanh Toan Pham is a treasure trove of “rich knowledge and experience”, which he applies to resolving the most challenging trademark cases faced by well-known international companies in Vietnam. For IP oppositions and appeals, Xuan Thu Nguyen is the person to call.

RHTLaw Vietnam

RHTLaw Vietnam is part of the RHTLaw Asia network, as well as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Plus Group formed by full-service commercial firms based in a number of Asian jurisdictions. Extremely well connected and steeped in local Vietnamese practice knowledge, the side is an excellent fit for companies that want strong IP expertise combined with cross-border aptitude and general practice capability. Head of the Hanoi office Dang Phuong Le is a key contact and a do-it-all lawyer who has practised across numerous legal disciplines, including intellectual property, with in-house experience on her CV to boot.

Rouse

A global IP force for good, Rouse was among the first international specialty firms to establish a presence in Asia. Since the early 1990s, it has augmented its regional capabilities to become an elite trademark protector and enforcer throughout the continent. Some of its best practitioners can be found in the Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi offices, where they collectively display a rare gift for full brand lifecycle management. Working magic in complex prosecution scenarios, as well as in litigation, Yen Vu is a repository of trust for many world-famous brands. She takes on the mantle of leadership alongside Chris Vale, a Hong Kong-based director who set up Rouse’s Cambodia, Hong Kong and Vietnam offices. The advice that Vale gives on strategy is infused with industry insight and the representation that he affords in often multi-country disputes is expertly judged, explaining why companies such as adidas seek him out. He recently acted for die weltmarke mit den 3 streifen in an opposition requiring a sophisticated, thorough and precise approach to evidence collection and argumentation. With him on the matter was Tue Do, a prosecution and appeals specialist with a talent for managing and enhancing large trademark portfolios. Another local ace is Nina Nguyen whose first-rate captaincy of the enforcement team distinguishes her as one of the market’s rising stars. “Nina is commendable for her proactive communication. She is knowledgeable on local IP law and displays strong initiative in her work. She and her team are very persistent when dealing and negotiating with infringers and are able to deliver effective solutions in the face of challenges.”

Schmitt & Orlov

Schmitt & Orlov’s international footprint is a unique one spanning Russia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Hong Kong, mainland China and Southeast Asia. Established in 2014, the Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi offices serve as the central jumping off point for regional IP protection and enforcement activities and are staffed by respected specialists who understand the local and international terrain when it comes to brands. Dynamic, strategic and commercial, the team enjoys a fine reputation among companies for which robust trademark rights are critical. Supervising the practice with an assured hand, Hau Nguyen garners glowing notices from the market: “What sets Hau and her team apart is their reliability, strong work ethic and exceptional level of professional service; responses are always given quickly in an appropriate format and which address your needs directly. They adapt quickly to changing demands and are highly proactive in anti-counterfeiting, working cooperatively with the Directorate of Market Surveillance to coordinate effective enforcement.”

Tilleke & Gibbins

Immovable from the WTR 1000 gold tier, Tilleke & Gibbins is a prolific filer across all categories of intellectual property in Vietnam and, complete with its own in-house investigative team, a force to be reckoned with when it comes to enforcement. With further specialised offerings in areas such as domain names and data privacy, the side can support brand owners in unlimited meaningful ways. Managing director Thomas Treutler keeps the group in peak condition while delivering notable wins for his following of top life sciences and technology enterprises. Leading the trademark team, Linh Thi Mai Nguyen has thrived in the two years since she became a partner, particularly in the context of oppositions and appeals where she has accumulated numerous victories. A skilled helmsman of the enforcement team in Hanoi, Loc Xuan Le is “extremely dedicated in the fight against counterfeiters and is a fast-acting and forward-thinking adviser”. His counterpart in Ho Chi Minh is Trung Nguyen who similarly blends patent and trademark infringement expertise. They draw on the valuable support of Linh Duy Mai, a former police officer and quick-witted lawyer who recently became deputy head of enforcement in Hanoi. Those in need of transactional IP expertise look no further than Tu Ngoc Trinh, a corporate and commercial lawyer with valuable franchising know-how.

Vision & Associates

As a well-appointed full-service law firm with a high degree of specialisation in intellectual property, Vision & Associates is a perfect fit for one-stop shoppers with diverse intangible asset portfolios. The impressive bench strength of its IP group – which has 40-plus fee earners – enables the outfit to take care of any brief, while its technical sophistication and management systems ensure efficient performance. Managing partner Pham Nghiem Xuan Bac is an expert in countless legal disciplines and adept at drawing on the group to get clients the exact support that they need. As a result of his effective international outreach, Vision has established close connections with foreign associates in Southeast Asia and much further afield. Deputy director of the IP practice Do Quang Hung can advise on all aspects of trademark, patent, copyright, design and unfair competition law.

Other recommended experts

Bich Thuy Nguyen is the managing partner of Viet IP. Having held top positions at her various employers for over two decades, she has strong leadership credentials that go hand-in-hand with a well-rounded IP, litigation and trade law skillset. Huu Nam Tran is a Vietnamese IP veteran who got into the game as an examiner at the NOIP in the mid-1980s. He is the founding partner of long-running IP boutique Tran HN & Associates. As the first person in Vietnam to become a doctor of intellectual property, Nguyen Van Vien’s depth of knowledge makes him an excellent sounding board for any IP question. The Frasers Law Company patent attorney has done much to enhance IP awareness in the country.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Son Doan - IPMAX Law Firm
  • Loc Xuan Le - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Manh Hung Tran - Baker McKenzie
  • Yen Vu - Rouse
  • Thuy TH Dang - D&N International
  • My Doan - Hogan Lovells
  • Linh Duy Mai - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Dang Thi To Hang - D&N International
  • Van-Anh Hoang - IPMAX Law Firm
  • Do Quang Hung - Vision & Associates
  • Hau Nguyen - Schmitt & Orlov
  • Minh Huong Nguyen - Ahoa Law Office
  • Nina Nguyen - Rouse
  • Trung Nguyen - Tilleke & Gibbins
  • Vu Khanh Toan Pham - Pham & Associates
  • Dang Phuong Le - RHTLaw Vietnam
  • Minh Tri Quach - Baker McKenzie
  • Thi Kieu Hoa Tran - Baker McKenzie
  • Le Quang Vinh - Bross & Partners

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

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

Individuals: transactions

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