Thomas J. Treutler

Partner and Managing Director, Vietnam
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T: +84 24 3772 5633
F: +84 24 3772 5568

Thomas J. Treutler is the managing director of Tilleke & Gibbins’ Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices. Tom is registered to practice as a foreign lawyer in Vietnam and before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the United States Court of International Trade. He is an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California.

Tom has worked in the legal services field in Vietnam since 1994, specializing in corporate and commercial law as well as intellectual property. He has advised many leading international companies in the franchising space on setting up their operations in Vietnam, and also advises regularly in the areas of media and technology law. Tom has assisted in government-funded reviews of Vietnam’s compliance with bilateral trade commitments, and has published articles on Vietnamese legal developments in Vietnam Investment Review and Vietnam Economic Times, and coauthored several sections of the CCH Vietnam Business Law Guide. He previously served as the Vietnam co-correspondent for Tax Notes International.

Recognized as a leading lawyer in intellectual property by Chambers, The Legal 500, and Managing IP, Tom has extensive experience in IP enforcement and has secured a number of landmark patent infringement victories for foreign companies operating in the life sciences and technology sectors. Under Tom’s leadership, Tilleke & Gibbins has been named Firm of the Year for Vietnam by Managing IP  for five of the past six years. In 2014, Tom helped lead an anti-counterfeiting action for a U.S. printer cartridge producer that was named Case of the Year for Southeast Asia by Managing IP, due to the court’s award to the plaintiff of damages and attorney fees, as well as costs for a prior administrative action. As a former patent attorney in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, he has prepared and prosecuted patent applications in the semiconductor, computer, software, electronics, communications, and medical device industries.

Tom currently chairs the East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of INTA’s Famous and Well-Known Marks Committee, is a member of the INTA Asia-Pacific Global Advisory Council, and will sit on the INTA Copyright Committee in January 2018. He also heads the Southeast Asia Subcommittee of AIPLA’s IP Practice in the Far East Committee, and serves as the Chairman of AmCham Vietnam’s IT, Telecom & IPR (ITTI) Committee.

He is an advisor to EuroCham Vietnam’s Pharma Group (an industry group of major pharmaceutical innovators), and has assisted with drafting position papers on compulsory licensing and a roadmap for Vietnam’s compliance with the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and TRIPS. Tom also serves as a local expert for Vietnam for the European Commission’s ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk, and teaches an Introduction to IP Law course at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam in Hanoi, a university-level academy under Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for training future diplomats.

Tom earned a BSE degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan and graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University Bloomington's Maurer School of Law, where he now serves as a member of the Dean’s Global Advisory Board. Having lived and worked in Vietnam as a translator in the early 1990s before becoming a lawyer, Tom reads, writes and speaks Vietnamese fluently. Tom founded the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club in 2008, and his 16U team qualified for the 2015 Colt World Series in the United States.

  • Helped a major U.S. hospitality chain to structure, draft, and negotiate management contracts and conduct due diligence for six hotel, resort, and condominium projects in compliance with Vietnamese law, including  land title, zoning issues, complex brand licensing, and various taxation issues.

  • Advised a timeshare entity on all aspects of its entry into the Vietnamese market including real estate ownership, leasing and management, marketing, advertising, and data privacy.

  • Advised a major Japanese construction company in a USD 140,000,000 mixed-use office, condominium and serviced apartment project in Hanoi, including all licensing matters, land title issues, zoning variances, land subdivision, joint venture negotiations, corporate governance, and property management regulations.

  • Advised on various labor disputes in Vietnam including court cases and handling informal mediation, including for cases related to employee fraud and FCPA violations; prepared Vietnam’s first English-language translation of Vietnamese Labor Code in 1994.

  • Advised on various aspects of telecommunications and data privacy law, including live teleconferencing software; advised on various aspects of broadcasting, film production, and pay TV in Vietnam.

  • Advised the Vietnamese government on post-WTO accession TRIPS compliance issues under the Beyond WTO Project funded by the World Bank.

  • Provided IP training to judges at Vietnam's Supreme Court under an EU-sponsored project.

  • Represented a major European appliance producer in a trademark infringement and unfair competition case in which a Vietnamese appliance maker falsely claimed that its products contained components produced by our client.

  • Obtained several of the largest settlements in Vietnam IPR history in multiple copyright infringement actions.

  • Obtained an expert opinion on an agrochemical patent infringement in favor of the patent owner in a landmark case in Vietnam.

  • Secured on behalf of a major European apparel label the assessment of substantial fines (approximately USD 50,000) on infringers producing counterfeit shirts and shoes. 

  • Advised a leader in wireless technology on government authorities related to the telecommunications industry.

  • Obtained professional conclusions on patent infringement by the Vietnam Intellectual Property Research Institute in an ongoing patent infringement case concerning several patented insecticides.

  • Provided a freedom-to-operate opinion pertaining to a drug for inhibiting human gastric acid secretions.

  • Provided in-depth advice to a global software solutions provider on doing business in Vietnam.

  • Assisted a top American restaurant franchise with franchising registration, registration updates, and general business operations.

  • Drafted the following patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office:

    • Patent No. 6,952,269 “Apparatus and method for adiabatically heating a semiconductor surface”
    • Patent No. 7,359,393 “Method and apparatus for border gateway protocol convergence using update groups”
    • Patent No. 7,376,724 “Dynamic reconfiguration of nodes in a cluster file system”
    • Patent No. 7,389,529 “Method and apparatus for generating and using nested encapsulation data”
    • Patent No. 7,415,457 “Using a cache to provide cursor isolation”
    • Patent No. 7,472,183 “Approaches for capturing illegal and undesired behavior in network components and component interactions”
    • Patent No. 7,571,241 “Method and apparatus for advertising update messages to peers and peer groups in a border gateway protocol process”
    • Patent No. 8,001,112 “Using multidimensional access as surrogate for hash table”
  • Prepared documentation for the establishment of LPG and bitumen production businesses in Vietnam, which were successfully licensed.

  • Prepared applications and documentation for establishment of one of the first software outsourcing companies in Vietnam.

  • Conducted a due diligence exercise for a USD 300 million investment in a brewery in Vietnam, and worked on various other major due diligence exercises in Vietnam.

  • Prepared documentation for various capital injections into beverage production facilities in Vietnam.

  • Advised some of world’s largest franchises on establishment of their operations in Vietnam in fields ranging from education, restaurants, and fashion to rental cars; assisted two franchises to win litigation and/or arbitration cases relating to franchise disputes in Vietnam.

  • Prepared and advised on the establishment of various business and industry associations and NGOs in Vietnam, as well as on day-to-day issues.

  • Advised on various aspects of a mixed-use office/apartment complex in Hanoi; advised on structures for developing condominium projects in Central Vietnam; negotiated leases on behalf of clients.

Datesort icon Title
November 15, 2017

Tilleke & Gibbins Vietnam has Strong Showing in Asialaw Profiles 2018

In the 2018 edition of Asialaw Profiles, Tilleke & Gibbins was recognized as a leading law firm in Vietnam in seven practice areas, as follows: Outstanding: Intellectual Property; IT, Telco...

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October 23, 2017

Asia IP Patent 2017: Tilleke & Gibbins Top Tier for Thailand and Vietnam

In the 2017 edition of its annual Patent Survey, Hong Kong-based Asia IP  magazine has again placed Tilleke & Gibbins at the very top of the field, with Tier 1 rankings in the following...

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September 21, 2017

Eight Lawyers from Tilleke & Gibbins Appointed to INTA Committees

The International Trademark Association (INTA) has announced a list of industry leading member volunteers who will serve on its committees for the 2018 to 2019 term. Committee members, together with...

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September 19, 2017

ALB M&A Rankings 2017: Tilleke & Gibbins Among Top Regional M&A Practices

Tilleke & Gibbins continue to strengthen its profile as one of the most capable mergers and acquisitions practices in Southeast Asia, and was recently recognized in the Asian Legal Business...

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August 30, 2017

Vietnam Investment Review: Thomas Treutler Quoted on Foreign Investment in the Vietnamese Aviation Market

Thomas J. Treutler

The Vietnamese domestic aviation sector, formerly restricted to state ownership, has recently been opening up to foreign investment. In August 2017, the government announced a two-year plan for...

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September 5, 2017

Vietnam: A New Dawn for Vietnam Domain Name Disputes?

Thomas J. Treutler, Loc Xuan Le

April 21, 2017, was an important milestone in the settlement of IP infringement cases relating to “.vn” domain names in Vietnam. This was the day the domain name <> was withdrawn...

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August 29, 2017

New Decree Affects Pharma Distribution and Medical Representative Employment in Vietnam

Thomas J. Treutler, Chuyen Hong Huu Le

With Decree No. 54/2017/ND-CP dated May 8, 2017, guiding the implementation of the 2016 Pharmaceutical Law (Decree 54) entering into effect on July 1, 2017, some new provisions are forcing...

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May 24, 2017

Vietnam-Japan PPH Ends Second Year

Thomas J. Treutler, Thang Duc Nguyen

As previously reported, the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam began accepting Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) requests for the second year of the PPH pilot program with the...

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April 4, 2017

Vietnam Steps Up Fight Against Counterfeit Goods

Thomas J. Treutler, Trung Nguyen

Vietnamese authorities have stepped up their efforts to enforce IP rights in recent years, particularly in 2016, and especially in the area of combating counterfeit goods. According to the government...

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March 24, 2017

Vietnam-Japan PPH Begins Second Year

Thomas J. Treutler, Thang Duc Nguyen

The National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam will begin accepting Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) requests again on April 3, 2017. As reported last year, the NOIP signed a PPH...

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