(+84) 9 61 57 18 18
info@vietanlaw.com

Third party observation on trademark application in Vietnam

A trademark is one of the objects of industrial property rights, is where contains commercial indications, and a bridge between the manufacturer or service provider and the consumer. Trademarks are important signs to distinguish the goods and services of one individual or business organization from those of another. During the trademark registration process, a third party can express their opinion on the application. However, in reality, many Clients still do not clearly understand the nature and role of this regulation. To answer our Clients’ questions, in the article below, Viet An Law Firm would like to present an article with third party observation on trademark application in Vietnam.

trademark registration in Vietnam

Legal basis

  • Law on Intellectual Property 2005, as amended and supplemented in 2009, 2019, 2022.
  • Decree 65/2023/ND-CP has detailed several articles and measures to implement the Intellectual Property Law on industrial property, protection of industrial property rights, rights to plant varieties, and state management of intellectual property.

What is a trademark in Vietnam?

Presently, intellectual property is considered the most important and valuable asset for every business. In particular, it cannot be denied that a trademark is an industrial property object that brings the greatest commercial exploitation value to the owner. Trademark is defined as follows:

  • Trademarks as defined by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one enterprise from those of other enterprises.
  • Vietnam’s Intellectual Property Law also provides the following definition of a trademark: Trademark is any sign used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations and individuals (Clause 16, Article 4 of the Intellectual Property Law).

The main function of a trademark is to help Clients identify the goods/services of this business from the goods/services of other businesses. Once consumers are positive and satisfied with the product, they will tend to buy it again and use it for a long time in the future

Third party observation on trademark application in Vietnam

Third party observation is a procedure that allows receiving public comments on industrial property registration applications, based on which, the industrial property agency makes decisions on applications under examination. The third party observation is considered a reference source of information for the examination during the examination process of the application.

Previously, according to the Intellectual Property Law in 2005, there was no regulation on opposition to the grant of protection titles as an independent procedure like an appeal or cancellation/termination of trademark validity, but there is only a third party observation regime. When receiving an opinion from a third party, the National Office of Intellectual Property considers it as an opposition and the handling process is similar to the procedure for opposition to an application. Therefore, the handling of third party observations is not consistent across cases. In addition, the regulations on the time limit for receiving and processing opinions from third parties as prescribed in Article 112 of the Intellectual Property Law in 2005 for applications for industrial property registration rights are unclear and too long. Failure to distinguish between opposition procedures and third party observation leads to problems in applying the process to handle those two types of opinions; the long time limit for receiving opinions from third parties leads to a prolonged application processing process, not to mention cases where third parties abuse this procedure to prevent from granting of protection titles.

Article 112 of the Intellectual Property Law specifically stipulates the third party observations on trademark registration applications as follows:

Deadline for submitting observations

From the date an industrial property registration application is published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette up until before the date of issuance of a decision on the grant of a protection title, any third party shall have the right to express an opinion to the competent State administrative body for industrial property rights on the grant or refusal to grant a protection title for such application. Such opinions must be made in writing and be accompanied by documents or must quote the source of information.

Formality

Observations must be made in writing, accompanied by documents or information citation sources to prove it, stating the legal basis, analysis, and arguments for your opinion on the trademark registration application.

Legal validity

The third party observation document is considered a source of reference information for the processing of industrial property registration applications.

The regulation of third party observations is considered a clear legal basis for the public to have an opinion on the granting of exclusive rights to a trademark if they think that the registered trademark has the potential to conflict with or affect the trademark negatively or not meet protection conditions.

Distinguishing third party observation on trademark registration applications and oppositions to trademark registration applications under the Intellectual Property Law 2022

Criteria Third party observation on the trademark registration application Opposition to Trademark Registration Application
Definition Third-party observation is a procedure that allows receiving public comments on industrial property registration applications, based on which, the industrial property agency makes decisions on applications under examination. Opposition is an administrative procedure that allows a third party to challenge the validity of an industrial property registration application and, on that basis, request the industrial property agency to refuse to grant a protection title for the mentioned trademark in the application, provided that the examiner must point out the legal basis to prove his/her request.
Time limit Third party observation can be submitted from the date the industrial property registration application is published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette until before the date of issuance of the decision to grant a protection title. Oppositions are only allowed to be submitted within 5 months from the date the trademark registration application is published and before the date of issuance of the decision to grant the Certificate of Protection.

 

Obligation to pay fees No fees are required Must pay fees as prescribed by law
Procedure The National Office of Intellectual Property only receives third party observations, but may not respond or must establish separate procedures to resolve third party observations. The National Office of Intellectual Property receives oppositions, issues opposition numbers, and must establish a mechanism, order, and procedure to resolve oppositions as an independent procedure (similar to the termination procedure, cancellation, or appeal).
Nature Just a source of reference information for the process of processing industrial property registration applications (only an opinion as a reference source of information) Is a separate, independent procedure, similar to other procedures such as termination, revocation, or appeal.

Trademarks are considered industrial property objects that bring the greatest commercial exploitation value to the owner. Clients who need advice on third party observations on the trademark registration application in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law for the best support.

Related Acticle

Trademark registration in Cameroon

Trademark registration in Cameroon

The country of Cameroon is located in Central Africa, bordering the Bay of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria. This location is an important gateway to Central and West Africa,…
Industrial designs registration in Myanmar

Industrial designs registration in Myanmar

Economic development leads to inevitable competition between businesses. An industrial design once launched on the market can easily be imitated. Therefore, an industrial design registration is necessary and important. However,…
Trademark registration in Vietnam

Trademark registration in Vietnam

Trademarks are signs used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations or individuals. The marks used as trademarks must be visible in the form of letters, words, images, drawings,…
Trademark registration procedures in Laos

Trademark registration procedures in Laos

Laos is a new and potential business market that many Vietnamese businesses are aiming for. However, to be able to dominate the Lao market, the first thing businesses need to…
Trademark registration in Burkina Faso

Trademark registration in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located in West Africa. It borders Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south,…

CONTACT VIET AN LAW

Hanoi Head-office

#3rd Floor, 125 Hoang Ngan, Hoang Ngan Plaza, Trung Hoa, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam

info@vietanlaw.com

Ho Chi Minh city office

Room 04.68 vs 04.70, 4th Floor, River Gate Residence, 151 – 155 Ben Van Don Street, District 4, HCM, Viet Nam

hcm@vietanlaw.com

SPEAK TO OUR LAWYER

English speaking: (+84) 9 61 57 18 18 - Lawyer Dong Van Thuc ( Alex) (Zalo, Viber, Whatsapp, Wechat)

Vietnamese speaking: (+84) 9 61 37 18 18 - Dr. Lawyer Do Thi Thu Ha (Zalo, Viber, Whatsapp, Wechat)