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Quality descriptive signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam

Trademark registration is one of the popular measures to protect the trademarks of individuals and organizations against trademark infringement. Trademarks can only be protected in this form if the National Office of Intellectual Property issues a certificate of trademark registration. In fact, not every individual or organization that submits a registration application will be granted a Certificate of Trademark Registration. In some cases, the NOIP will refuse to grant a certificate of trademark registration if the mark is not distinguishable as prescribed by law. One of the common cases for making a trademark application refused to grant a protection title as a descriptive mark of product/service quality. In this article, Viet An Law will present the regulation of quality descriptive signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam.

Legal basis

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

Quality descriptive signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam.

Regarding the description of the quality of the mark, according to Point c, Clause 2, Article 74 of the Intellectual Property Law, the following provisions are made:

“Article 74. Distinguishing Ability of Trademarks

  1. A mark is considered to be indistinguishable if it is a sign in one of the following cases:

[…]

  1. c) Signs indicating time, place, production method, type, quantity, quality, nature, composition, use, value or other descriptive characteristics of goods or services , except where the sign has acquired distinctiveness through use prior to the filing of the trademark application;

[…]”

To further clarify this provision, Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN amended in 2016 also stipulates that text and pictorial signs describing quality are considered indistinguishable:

“A word or a set of words carrying the content describing the goods or services bearing the mark as a sign indicating the time, place, and geographical origin (except where the mark is registered as a trademark). certification of geographical origin of goods or collective marks, for example: Nhat Tan peach, Hoa Loc sand mango, etc.), production method, type, quantity, quality, nature (except for registered trademark is a mark certifying the quality of goods and services, for example: Vietnamese high-quality goods, Dalat vegetable certification mark, etc.), ingredients, uses, and value of goods goods and services;

Exception of regulation on quality description mark

According to the above provisions, the law also provides for an exception to be granted a protection title in case the mark is a sign describing quality if it is a mark certifying the quality of goods or services.

Procedure of trademark registration in Vietnam

Step 1: Select a mark and goods and services for the trademark registration

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

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.

Step 5: Publication of trademark application

Time limit for publication of trademark application: 02 months from the date of notification of valid application acceptance.

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.

Above is an article about the quality descriptive signs cannot be registered as trademark in Vietnam. Customers wishing to register a trademark, please contact Viet An Law for detailed advice!

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