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Conditions for protecting a figurative trademark in Vietnam

Trademarks are one of the objects of industrial property rights, containing commercial indications, used to indicate their origin and source of supply. Known as one of the most popular and popular types of trademarks, picture trademarks are preferred by many organizations and businesses. However, determining the elements and requirements for a graphic trademark to be protected in Vietnam is one of the difficulties that many customers have been facing Viet An law firms provide an article on the conditions for protecting a figurative trademark in Vietnam below.

Legal basis

  • Law on Intellectual Property 2005, as amended and supplemented in 2009, 2019, 2022.

What is a figurative trademark?

Trademarks are signs selected and used by commercial entities to perform the function of distinguishing goods and services produced and provided by different sources.

Based on the form of expression of the sign used as a trademark, it can be understood that figurative trademarks are trademarks expressed through lines, colors, drawings, photos, shapes, and symbols. Thanks to the above characteristics, visual brands attract consumers’ eyes, making it easy for them to remember because remembering images and colors is easier than remembering words and structures. complex structure.

Why is it necessary to protect figurative trademarks?

If patent law aims to protect scientific and technical achievements, trademark law aims to protect commercial identity. The protection of figurative trademarks is the state through the legal system, establishing the rights of subjects to figurative trademarks to protect the rights and interests of organizations and businesses and protect consumers when they participate in buying, selling, and using products and services on the market.

Conditions for protecting a figurative trademark in Vietnam

Like other traditional trademarks, figurative trademarks that want to be protected in Vietnam must meet the following conditions as prescribed by law:

 

  • A trademark must be able to distinguish the goods and services of the trademark owner from those of other entities:
    • This condition comes from the need to register figurative trademark protection in Vietnam. This regulation not only protects the business positions that have been painstakingly established by businesses but also protects the interests of customers and consumers, helping them not to be confused between goods and services, convenient in searching, buying, selling, and using products and services available on the market according to your needs.
    • This is considered the most important condition for trademark registration. In the US, figurative trademarks can achieve distinctiveness through two criteria: distinguishing itself and distinguishing through use.
    • However, according to Vietnamese law, the ability of a trademark to distinguish goods and services is understood and applied according to the first criterion, which is the criterion of inherent distinction.
  • Figurative trademarks registered for protection do not fall under the case of signs that are not protected as trademarks, including:
    • Signs that are identical or confusingly similar to the national flag or national emblem, national anthem of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and other countries, international anthems.
    • Signs that are identical or confusingly similar to flag symbols, badges, abbreviations, full names of state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, or political organizations social – professional organizations, social organizations, social-professional organizations of Vietnam and international organizations, if not authorized by those agencies or organizations.
    • Signs that are identical or similar enough to confuse with the real names, nicknames, pseudonyms, or images of leaders, national heroes, famous people of Vietnam or foreign countries.
    • Signs that are identical or confusingly similar to certification marks, inspection marks, or warranty marks of an international organization requested by that organization may not be used unless the organization itself registers the marks as certification marks.
    • Signs that mislead, confuse, or deceive consumers about the origin, features, uses, quality, value, or characteristics of goods or services.
    • A sign is the inherent shape of the goods or is required by the technical characteristics of the goods.
    • Signs containing copies of works, unless authorized by the owner of the work.

Some questions related to conditions for protecting a figurative trademark in Vietnam

What are signs that are identical or confusingly similar to the national flag or national emblem of other countries?

Signs that are identical or confusingly similar to national flags or emblems of other countries are one of the cases in which a registered trademark is not protected as a trademark. For example, the image of a red flag with a yellow star cannot be protected as a trademark of interior decorations because that image coincides with the national flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Can simple shape signs become protected pictorial trademarks in Vietnam?

Simple shape signs may be considered indistinguishable if they are shapes or common geometries, such as circles, triangles quadrilaterals, etc. The use of simple shapes will not create a distinction between these and other goods and services.

Should images with too many shapes, lines with complex structures, and inappropriate color combinations be used as figurative trademarks?

Figurative trademarks are used to distinguish the goods and services of one owner from those of other goods and services. Therefore, using images with too many shapes, lines with complex structures, and inappropriate color combinations not only destroys the aesthetics of the image mark but also prevents that mark from being promoted. ability to differentiate its goods and services.

What does a picture trademark search mean for figurative trademark registration in Vietnam?

A trademark search is one of the first things to do to evaluate the trademark’s registrability before filing, avoiding the situation where the trademark protection application is returned due to duplicate or misleading confusion. Trademark search helps customers ensure that when they apply for registration, they will be issued a Trademark Registration Certificate.

Trademarks are important signs to distinguish the goods and services of one individual or business organization from those of another. Customers who need advice on conditions for protecting a figurative trademark in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law for the best support.

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