Since the human appearance on the Earth, food has been needed to sustain life. Food consists mainly of substances: starch (carbohydrates), lipids, proteins, or water which man or animal can be eaten and drank, with the basic purpose of obtaining nutrients for nourishing body purpose or pleasure. Foods of plant origin, foods of animal origin, microorganisms, or products made from fermentation methods such as wine and beer. Accordingly, food will have different shapes and colors. Therefore, some types of food can be protected by law for their external appearance in the form of industrial design protection if the registration procedure for granting a protection title is carried out.
According to the International Classification of Industrial Designs ( Edition under the Locarno Agreement), foods in class 01 that can be protected as industrial designs include:
Class 01 – 01: Bakers’ products, biscuits, pastry, macaroni, and other cereal products, chocolates, confectionery, ices;
Class 01 – 02: Fruit, vegetables, and products made from fruits and vegetables;
Class 01 – 03: Cheeses, butter and butter substitutes, other dairy procedures;
Class 01 – 04: Butchers’ meat (including pork products), fish;
Class 01 – 05: (vacant);
Class 01 – 06: Animal foodstuffs;
Class 01 – 99: Miscellaneous.
What is food industrial design?
Food industrial design is the external appearance of a food product represented by shapes, lines, colors, or a combination of these elements visible during the use of that food.
For example, as illustrated below, a biscuit food product belongs to class 01 – 01 of class 01 according to the International Classification of Industrial Designs ( Edition under the Locarno Agreement) whose industrial design is rectangular, the border is serrated and on the surface, there are small circular holes.
General conditions for protected industrial design
An industrial design is protected if the following conditions are met:
Newness (compared to world): An industrial design is considered newness if it is significantly different from industrial designs that have been publicly disclosed in the form of use, description in writing, or any other form in the country or abroad before the submitting date or before the priority date if the industrial design registration application enjoys the right of priority.
Industrially applicable: An industrial design is considered to be industrially applicable if it can be used as a model for mass production of products with the appearance of that industrial design by industrial methods.
Notice: The object is not protected in the name of an industrial design:
The external appearance of the product is required by the product’s specifications;
The external appearance of civil or industrial construction works;
The shape of the product is not visible during use of the product.
Food industrial design registration dossier
02 Industrial design registration declaration, typed according to form No.03-KDCN, Appendix A of the Circular No.01/2007/TT-BKHCN;
01 description of the industrial design; (The industrial design description must meet the provisions of Point 33.5 of the Circular No.01/2007/TT-BKHCN, the industrial design copy must include the following information: Name of the industrial design; Field of industrial design use; Closet similar industrial design; List photos or drawings; Detailed description of the industrial design; Claims for protection of industrial design);
04 sets of photos/drawings of industrial design;
Receipts of fee payments.
Other documents (if any):
A power of attorney (if the industrial design application is submitted through an industrial property representation service organization);
An application right transfer (if any);
Documents confirming the right to register (if the beneficiary is from someone else);
Documents proving the priority right (if the industrial design application has a claim of priority right).
Order and procedure for food industrial design registration
How to apply:Application for registration of an industrial design can be submitted either directly or online.
Submitted directly: Applicant can apply directly or via postal service to one of the Intellectual Property office receiving points, specifically:
The National Intellectual Property Office, address: 386 Nguyen Trai street, Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi city.
Representative office of the National Intellectual Property office in Ho Chi Minh city, address: floor, Ha Phan building, 17/19 Ton That Tung Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.
Representative office of the National Intellectual Property Office in Da Nang city, address: floor, 135 Minh Mang Street, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son district, Da Nang city.
Submit via online: Applicant needs a digital certificate and digital signature, registers an account on the Online Application Receiving System and has an account approved by the National Intellectual Property Office to perform rights registration transaction.
From the date of receipt by the Intellectual Property Office, an industrial design registration application shall be considered in the following order:
Form appraisal: 01 months;
Publication of application: within 02 months from the date on which the industrial design registration application has a decision on acceptance of a valid application;
Content appraisal: no more than 07 months from the date of publication of the application;
The time limit for grant of protection title: 02 – 03 months from the date of payment of protection title fee. After the decision to grant a title is issued, the applicant or the applicant’s representative receives the protection title.
Term of industrial design protection
In Vietnam, industrial designs are protected in 5 years from the submission date and they can be extended up to 2 times. Accordingly, up to a protected industrial design will be exclusive for 15 years (if consecutively renewed upon expiration). After 15 years, the industrial design will cease to be exclusive and others can use it without the consent of the owner.
Viet An Law Service on industrial design registration in Vietnam
Search for information on the use and industrial design registration protection in Vietnam and abroad;
Consult, assess the usability, registration of protection of industrial design in Vietnam and abroad;
Complete application for a protection title;
Research and evaluate the possibility of infringement of industrial design right being protected;
Exercise protected industrial design right: investigating, monitoring, negotiating/mediation, taking legal action to a court or requesting other competent authorities to handle infringement in Vietnam and abroad;
Negotiate, draft, appraise and register a contract for the transfer of the right to use or own industrial design in Vietnam and abroad