Industrial design refers to the outside appearance of a product expressed by shapes, lines, colors, or a combination of these elements. Industrial designs are protected only when they have been granted protection certificates. Therefore, registration of industrial designs is necessary to protect enterprises against stealing, copying, counterfeiting, and unhealthy competition from competitors.

How we can help:

  • Industrial design lookup (or Industrial design search): Prior to filing an application, PLF will assist Clients in searching the national industrial design database to verify whether an industrial design has already been registered or applied for. After the search, we will issue a detailed report containing our opinion on the feasibility of registration;
  • Industrial design registration (or design registration): PLF will draft and submit applications for industrial design registration in Vietnam, international registration via WIPO or direct submission in selected countries;
  • Extend registration: PLF will help Clients to maintain the industrial design and keep the certificates valid. We will assist you in filing applications to extend the period of protection before the expiration date;
  • Industrial design management: PLF will advise you on the effective and systematic identification and management of intellectual property rights for industrial designs.
  • Industrial design assignment: PLF will provide advice on strategies and approach plans and implement the related procedures for transferring industrial design ownership or changing the name stated on the certificates;
  • Industrial design enforcement: PLF will draft a cease and desist (or demand) letter or email requesting the offending parties to cease their infringement. In cases where the Clients are the receiving parties, we will assist them in verifying and analyzing the arguments as well as drafting the response letter. Industrial design enforcement also includes drafting letters to be sent to state agencies in charge of industrial design management;
  • Dispute resolution: PLF will represent Clients in the process of mediation, negotiation, and dispute resolution before courts or arbitration centers.

How to proceed?

  • Organize direct meetings with our team to clarify our Clients’ requirements, targets, and concerns in Vietnam;
  • Advise and propose an action plan to establish and register an industrial design aligned with the company business plan;
  • Provide key elements and offer options and ways of to manage brands in the best interests of Clients;
  • Evaluate the context and evidence to propose optimal and practical solutions to resolve disputes between parties, therefore contributing to the highest protection of the Client’s interests and limit losses from litigation;
  • Advise on the requirements of industrial design images or photos for registration;
  • Describe the design to highlight what makes the target industrial design unique and different from other applied designs;
  • Identify the groups of services and products to be registered aligned with your business;
  • Liaise with the competent authorities during the registration process;
  • List of documents and legal forms translated from Vietnamese to English to prepare complete applications;
  • Provide a CRM account so our Clients can monitor the legal services and procedures;
  • Deliver protection certificates and provide instructions after obtaining those certificates.

Most Frequent Questions & Answers

Registering a 100% foreign-owned company in Vietnam is possible. However, foreign investment is subject to regulatory limitations applied on each specific business sector.

In most cases, investors shall implement the following steps to establish a company:

Step 1: Obtaining an Investment Registration Certificate, abbreviated IRC (if any non-Vietnamese investors).

Step 2: Obtaining an Enterprise Registration Certificate, abbreviated ERC or BRC for Business Registration Certificate.

The company is established but the following steps are required for regulatory compliance:

Step 3: Post establishment procedures.

Step 4: Obtaining sub-licenses (if any).

IRC stands for Investment Registration Certificate which shall be obtained (in most cases) when a foreign investor wants to set up a project (such as establishing a company) in Vietnam at the beginning.

ERC stands for the Enterprise Registration Certificate which every company in Vietnam must have. In other jurisdiction it is sometimes referred to as the “Incorporation Certificate” or “Company Certificate”.

Joint Stock Company (“JSC“) and Limited Liability Company (“LLC“) are the most common types of company in Vietnam since they offer the following advantages:

  • Limitation in liabilities of their shareholders/ members/ proportionate to their capital contribution;
  • Flexible management structure;
  • Conversion from JSC to LLC and conversely is possible.

In general, there is no minimum capital required by law when registering a company in Vietnam. Only some conditional business sectors such as real estate trading, banking or education have specific capital requirements.

However, the capital shall be sufficient in light of the intended business sectors and scale of operation.

For non-conditional business sectors, we usually need from 6 to 8 weeks to setup a foreign-invested company and 1 week for a Vietnamese-invested one.

However, especially for foreign-owned companies, the time can be extended due to various reasons such as additional requirements from the licensing authorities.

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We welcome inquiries, consultation requests, and any legal concerns you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us for reliable guidance and exceptional service.

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