A trademark is defined as a sign used to distinguish the goods or services of one producer/service provider from those of another.
The trademark may be presented in the form of letters, pictures or a combination thereof in one or several colors. To be registrable, a trademark must be distinctive and must not fall within the signs excluded from registrability.
TradeMark: Definition and registrability
2. Registered trademark condition
A sign used as a trademark shall be deemed distinctive if the following conditions satisfied:
- It is created from one or a number of elements that are prominent and easily recognized, or from elements that are, as a whole, prominent and easily recognized;
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to another persons trademark currently protected in Vietnam;
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to a trademark of another person claimed in prior-filed applications in Vietnam including those trademarks filed under the Madrid Agreement;
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to a trademark of another person, the protection validity of which has expired or been suspended within the last 5 years, except where the validity was suspended on the basis of non-use;
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to a trademark of another person recognized as well-known in accordance with Article 6bis of the Paris Convention, or a trademark that has been widely used and recognized;
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to a protected trade name or geographical indication;
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to a patented industrial design or a prior-filed industrial design; or
- It is not identical with or confusingly similar to a symbol or character subject to another person's copyright, which has been widely known, unless permitted by such person.
3 Trademark protection in Vietnam.
The following signs shall be excluded from trademark protection:
- Signs that do not possess distinctiveness, such as simple shapes and geometric shapes, figures, capital letters, , and foreign letters of uncommon languages which does not derive from Latin (such as, Arabian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, etc.) . Those signs can be however registered if they have been widely used and recognized;
- Conventional signs, symbols, ordinary devices, and denominations of goods in any language that are used widely and popularly and known to many people;
- Signs indicating time, place, manufacturing process, type, quantity, quality, nature, composition, utility or value that are descriptive of goods, services or origin thereof;
- Signs likely to mislead or cause confusion or to deceive consumers as to the origin, nature, function, utility, quality or value of goods or services;
- Signs identical with or similar to official quality marks, control marks, warranty marks, etc. of Vietnam, foreign countries or international organizations;
- Signs or names (including pictures, names, nicknames and pseudonyms), devices or symbols identical with or confusingly similar to national flags, national emblems, portraits of national leaders or heroes, public figures, geographical denominations, organizations of Vietnam and foreign countries, unless duly authorized; and
- Signs that are contrary to law, social interests, public order and humanity.
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