Viet An Law Firm is an intellectual property representative organization of the Vietnam Intellectual Property Department. After nearly 20 years of operation, Viet An Law Firm is proud to be one of the most prestigious law firms, providing the best services to customers in the field of legal consulting and intellectual property consulting and representation services in Vietnam. In the following article, Viet An Law will guide you through procedures of geographical indication registration in Vietnam according to current law.
According to the provisions of Article 6 of the Law on Intellectual Property, industrial property rights to geographical indications are established based on a decision to grant a protection title by a competent state agency according to registration procedures as prescribed in this Law or in international treaties to which Vietnam is a member.
A geographical indication is a sign used to indicate the geographical origin of a product from a specific area, locality, territory, or country. General conditions for protected geographical indications are as follows:
Note: The description of specific characteristics must have the following main contents:
Registration applications can be submitted in person or sent by post to the headquarters of the National Office of Intellectual Property.
Check the compliance with the regulations on the form for the application, thereby concluding whether the application is considered valid or not.
In case the dossier contains errors, the National Office of Intellectual Property will send a Notice of intention to refuse to accept a valid application, clearly stating the reason and setting a time limit for the applicant to correct the errors or object to this intended refusal. If within the above time limit, the applicant does not correct the errors, does not correct the errors unsatisfactorily, or does not have a valid objection to the intended refusal, the National Office of Intellectual Property will issue a Notice of refusal to accept valid application and terminate application processing.
On the contrary, if the application has no errors or the errors have been corrected, the National Office of Intellectual Property will issue a Notice accepting the valid application.
Within 02 months from the date of acceptance of a valid application, the application will be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette.
From the date of publication until the date of issuance of the decision to grant a protection title, the National Office of Intellectual Property will receive:
This procedure is to evaluate the possibility of protection of the geographical indication stated in the application after it has been recognized as valid. The time limit for substantive examination is no more than 06 months from the date of publication of the application.
In case of re-examination when there are objections to the results of substantive examination, the time limit for re-examination is equal to two-thirds (2/3) of the time limit for the first examination. Complicated cases may take longer but not beyond the time limit for the first examination.
The revised Intellectual Property Law 2022 has made technical corrections to the concept of geographical indications in Clause 22 to ensure reasonable expression without changing the connotation. At the same time, the new Law also adds Clause 22a on the concept of homonymous geographical indications in Article 4. Accordingly, the concept of homonymous geographical indications is a completely new concept, applied from 2023 under the definition the following meaning:
“Article 4. Interpretation of terms
22a. Homonymous geographical indications are geographical indications that have the same pronunciation or spelling.
Simultaneously with this concept, protection conditions for homonymous Geographical Indications are also added in Clause 2, Article 79, specifically including the following criteria:
Accordingly, the application for registration of homonymous geographical indications needs to be supplemented with documents explaining the conditions for use and the way of presenting geographical indications to ensure the ability to distinguish between geographical indications.
To be consistent with the commitments in EVFTA and practice, the new Law has added the right to register foreign geographical indications of foreign organizations and individuals who are rights holders of geographical indications according to the law of the exporting country. origin in Vietnam in Clause 2, Article 88. Registration of an application in the form of an international application is carried out according to the newly added Article 120a of the Intellectual Property Law.
In case a foreign geographical indication is no longer protected in the country of origin, it will be added as a basis to terminate all or part of the validity of the geographical indication protection certificate according to Article 95.1(k) of the Department of Defense Law. intellectual property.
To be consistent with EVFTA and reality, Article 92.2 of the new Law has removed the provision that information about “organizations and individuals with the right to use geographical indications” is content recorded in the protection certificate.
At the same time, the regulations on amending protection certificates in Article 97 of the new Law also have supplements related to who has the right to request amendments and information allowed to change and correct errors. Specifically, “organizations and individuals exercising the right to register geographical indications according to the provisions of Article 88” also have the right to request amendments similar to protection title holders. In addition to content related to name and address, the new Law also allows amending content about (i) nationality and (ii) names of authors, title holders, and geographical indication management organizations to comply with the updated content on the right to register and the right to request amendments above.
Regarding the exercise of management rights, the Government is responsible for guiding the implementation of this right in Articles 37 and 38 of Decree 65/2023/ND-CP to clearly define the role of state management and the role of The property owner is the State in Article 121 of the Intellectual Property Law.
Remove the regulation on geographical indication management organizations having the right to allow others to use them in Article 123.2(a) of the Intellectual Property Law. Accordingly, entities granted the right to use and manage geographical indications currently only have the right to prohibit others from using them according to the provisions of law to comply with the amended provisions of Article 121 on owners. geographical indication.
Geographical indication registration service of Viet An Law
If you have any difficulties or problems related to geographical indication registration in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law Firm for advice!
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