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Geographical signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam

Legal basis

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

Geographical signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam

A geographical description is a sign used to indicate that a product originates from a particular region, locality, territory or country. Geographical descriptive signs expressed in the form of names, terms, pictorial signs or mixed signs indicating or representing a content of geographical origin. Geographic terms include the name of any geographical location, not only political boundaries, but also the name of a geographical feature or feature including rivers, mountains, deserts, forests, ocean, lake, etc.

According to Point dd, Article 74 of the Intellectual Property Law, a mark is considered to be indistinguishable if it is a sign indicating the geographical origin of goods or services, unless such sign has been used widely used and recognized as a trademark or registered as a collective mark or certification mark under the Intellectual Property Law. These are geographical signs cannot be trademarked in Vietnam.

According to the above regulations, trademarks containing geographical descriptions will be refused to grant certificates registering trademark because the conditions for protection are not met. However, the law also protect trademark containing the geographic description in the following exceptions:

Marks that has been widely used and recognized as a trademark.

Example: “PARIS” for clothing and cosmetics;

“NETHERLANDS” for alcoholic beverages;

“ATLANTIC” for shrimp and salmon;

Marks have regitered as a collective or certification mark

For example: Phu Yen fish sauce, Cat Hai fish sauce, Doan Hung pomelo, Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea, Binh Thuan dragon fruit, Thanh Ha litchi, Dai Hoang banana, etc.

Procedure of trademark registration in Vietnam

Step 1: Select a brand and goods and services for the brand

The first important step to trademark registration for audio equipment, speakers is select a suitable and impressive brand

  • Trademark selection: Select a trademark template that meets the protection criteria. The selected mark is not similar to other registered trademarks, well-known trademarks.
  • Select a list of registered products: You need to select a list of goods and services bearing the mark according to the above instructions. Grouping of goods and services to be carried out according to the latest updated versions of the Nice International Classification of Trademarks.

Step 2: Research trademarks

To perform a trademark search, customers only need to provide Viet An Law:

  • Trademark template;
  • List of goods and services to research and register.

Step 3: Apply registration dossier

  • After an in-depth search and the mark is judged to be registrable, the applicant will proceed to submit a registration application to trademark registration for audio equipment, speakers
  • Agencies receiving and processing dossiers and collecting registration fees in Vietnam: National Office of Intellectual Property.

Step 4: Formality examniation of the application

  • The time limit for formal examination of a trademark application is 1 month from the filing date.
  • The NOIP will consider the application for eligibility in terms of form, label form, application owner, filing right, subheading, etc.
  • If the enterprise’s application meets the conditions. The NOIP will issue a Notice of acceptance of a valid application and publish the application.
  • If the enterprise’s application does not meet the conditions. The NOIP will issue a Notice of Non-acceptance of the application and request the enterprise to amend it. The application owner and the applicant’s representative shall make amendments as required. Then, proceed to submit the revised official letter to the NOIP and pay an additional fee if the group is classified incorrectly.

Step 5: Publication of trademark application

  • Time limit for publication of trademark application: 02 months from the date of notification of valid application acceptance.
  • Contents of application announcement include: Information about valid applications stated in the notice of acceptance of valid applications, trademark samples and a list of goods and services.

Step 6: Substantive examination of the application

Time limit for substantive examination: 09 months from the date of application publication.

Step 7: Pay the fee for granting a trademark protection title

The last step to trademark registration for audio equipment, speakers is after receiving the notice of intention to grant a protection title, the applicant shall pay the granting fee.

The above is an article about geographical signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam of Viet An Law. If Clients want to register a trademark, please contact us Viet An Law for detailed advice!

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