VIETNAM – AN OVERVIEW ON THE TRADEMARK PROTECTION IN THE FORM OF QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Relevant Authorities and Legislation
1.1 What is the relevant Vietnam trade mark authority?
The relevant Vietnam trademark authority is the Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP).
1.2 What is the relevant Vietnam trade mark legislation?
Vietnam IP Law 2005, amended in 2009 (Amended IP Law 2009) and a number of Government Decrees and Ministries’ Circulars concerned such as Decree No.103/2006/ND-CP detailing and guiding the implementation of IP Law, Circular No.01/2007/TT-BKHCN guiding the implementation of Government Decree No.103/2006/ND-CP, and Decree No. 97/2010/ND-CP on sanctioning administrative violations in industrial property, etc., are the relevant legislation.
Viet Nam – An Overview on the TradeMark Protection in the Form Of Questions and Answers (Part 1)
2. Application for a Trade Mark
2.1 What can be registered as a trade mark?
A trademark may be a word or words, letters, pictures, figures, including three-dimensional figures, or a combination thereof, either in one or more colours.
2.2 What cannot be registered as a trade mark?
Smells and sounds cannot be registered as a trademark in Vietnam.
2.3 What information is needed to register a trade mark?
The following information is required:
- Full name and address of the applicant and full name, address and telephone number of the agent.
- Indication of the type of mark concerned (trademark, service mark, certification mark, collective mark).
- If the mark is in colour, indication of the colour(s) concerned.
- Brief description in words of the pictorial and distinguishing elements of the mark and the general structure of the mark.
- If priority is to be claimed, an indication of the Convention or agreement on which priority is based, and of the number, country and date of the application whose priority is claimed.
- Indication of the goods or services for which registration is desired and of the class or classes of the International Classification to which they belong.
- If the mark contains a word or words in a language other than Vietnamese or English, a transliteration or an English translation of same must be given.
In case of an application for the registration of a collective mark or certification mark, the rules for the use of the mark must be filed
2.4 What is the general procedure for trade mark registration?
After an application is filed, it is first examined as to compliance with the formal requirements within one month from the filing date. If formal defects are found, the application will be rejected, and the applicant may then amend or correct the application within one month. If the application is found formally in order, it will be accepted as such and a notice of acceptance confirming the filing date and application number will be issued and the application is published (within two months from the date of the notice of acceptance by NOIP). Thereafter, the application will be subjected to an examination as to registrability. If the mark during substantive examination is found registrable and the fees are found duly paid, a decision to grant registration will be taken. The mark will then be registered, a notice concerning the registration will be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette and a Certificate of Registration will be issued.
2.5 How can a trade mark be adequately graphically represented?
A trademark can be adequately graphically represented when the representation is clear, precise, self-contained, and capable of distinguishing so that this graphical representation can precisely determine what the sign is, enabling a person looking at the trade mark to understand what the trademark is.
2.6 How are goods and services described?
Class headings or general description of the designated goods/services are not accepted, it is necessary to describe such goods/services in detail.
2.7 What territories (including dependants, colonies, etc.) are or can be covered by a Vietnam trade mark?
A Vietnam trademark is valid in Vietnam. Vietnam does not have any dependant territories or colonies.
2.8 Who can own a Vietnam trade mark?
A legal entity or natural person having a licensed business, including a foreigner, has the right to registration of a mark to be used for goods or services he or she produced or supplied.
2.9 How long on average does registration take?
On average, the registration takes 12-18 months.
2.10 What is the average cost of obtaining a Vietnam trade mark?
On average, registration of a Vietnam trademark in a single class costs USD 40 in total, not including agent’s fees.
2.11 Is there more than one route to obtaining a registration in Vietnam?
Yes. A trademark that has jurisdiction in Vietnam can be obtained by filing a Vietnam national application or an international application designating Vietnam under the Madrid Protocol and/or Madrid Agreement.
2.12 Is a Power of Attorney needed?
Yes. An original power of attorney, signed by the applicant’s representative, must be filed within one month from the filing date.
2.13 How is priority claimed?
See the answer to question 2.3 (e) above. Priority cannot be claimed after the filing date.
2.14 Does Vietnam recognise Collective or Certification marks?
Yes. Collective marks distinguish goods or services of members from those of non-members of an organisation that is the owner of the mark; whereas, certification marks are marks licensed by their owners to other organisations or individuals to use for their goods or services in order to certify characteristics in respect of origin, materials, raw materials and methods of production or methods of supply, quality, accuracy, safety or other characteristics of such goods or services.
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