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Trademark Registration in Vietnam

Brand is considered one of the largest intangible assets of the business. Sometimes the value of the factory, investment equipment, goods and services is still lower than the value of the trademark owned by the enterprise. Therefore, the implementation of trademark registration is a necessary and sufficient condition for each goods and service before entering the market. Trademarks of main goods and services are associated with prestige, quality, customer confidence for specific products and services. Because brand is a sign to distinguish this business unit’s goods and services from other business units.

Customers who seek advice at Viet An Law often have questions: Who has the right to conduct trademark registration in Vietnam?

Under the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law, the subject is allowed to register trademarks including individuals and companies. In particular, including individuals, companies are Vietnamese or foreigners. However, if an individual or a Vietnamese company can register a trademark directly at the National Office of Intellectual Property or through an intellectual property representative to carry out trademark registration, it is for individuals and foreign companies wishing to register trademarks in Vietnam are required to file applications for trademark registration through Intellectual Property representative companies such as Viet An Law Firm.

Note: Although the brand has been issued a Certificate of Trademark Registration, if it is not used within five consecutive years, it will be required to terminate its validity.

Next question: What is brand classification? Why does it take many registration fees for a trademark to register multiple brands?

The registered trademark subgroup is based on the International Classification of Trademarks (Table of Fiber Types) applied by the whole world. All goods and services on the market have many types but according to the Brand Classification Table, there are only 45 groups. In particular, there are 34 groups for goods and 11 groups for services. In Vietnam, trademark registration fees are based on goods and services registered trademarks. As a result, the more customers register for more goods and services, the more the registration fee will be increased.

Steps for conducting search and trademark registration

In order to support businesses and individuals to establish trademark rights for their goods and services before going to the market quickly and professionally. Viet An Law Firm guides the process of searching and registering trademarks for goods and services in 2018 as follows:

Step 1: Look up the brand

Customers send samples of trademarks and product catalogs and services to Viet An Law Firm to Viet An Law to conduct preliminary search and evaluate the possibility of trademark registration.

Free preliminary lookup: Viet An Law will conduct a free preliminary search for customers to assess the ability of the trademark to register within 01 day from when the customer provides the trademark form.

After the preliminary search, which found that the trademark cannot register, Viet An Law Firm will advise and provide relevant controls to find solutions for the brand that can grant certificate later.

Advanced search before filing a trademark application:

In case, after the preliminary search, the trademark is able to register, it will look deeply through Vietnamese and international data to appreciate the ability to grant the protection title to the trademark. This is not a compulsory step, but it should be done to increase the ability to register trademarks and save time.

Intensive search is a completely voluntary procedure of the applicant. However, this procedure is recommended because this is the first and important step in a preliminary assessment of whether a trademark should apply for protection registration.

However, the search for trademarks is for reference purposes only and is not a basis for granting or not granting certificate (partly related to the priority when registering a trademark as described above).

  • Documents to look up brands that customers need to prepare: 03 trademark samples with sizes larger than 3 × 3 cm, not exceeding 8 × 8 cm
  • Procedures for intensive trademark search through Viet An Law Firm are from 1-3 working days.

Step 2: Submit the application for trademark registration and follow the trademark registration process at the National Office of Intellectual Property

Stage 1: Filing a trademark registration declaration (filing a trademark application):

After the intensive search and the trademark is assessed as capable of registering, Viet An Law Firm will conduct trademark registration at the National Office of Intellectual Property for the application of customers.

Records of trademark registration that customers need to prepare:

  • Authorization letter(attached form)
  • 01 sample of Trademark (not less than 3 × 3 cm, not exceeding 8 × 8 cm)
  • List of products and services intended for trademark registration.
  • Viet An Law Firm will prepare the remaining documents as prescribed for trademark registration applications.

In addition to the required documents mentioned when customers register collective marks, certification trademarks need to provide more for Viet An Law Firm as follows:

  • Regulations on use of collective marks / certification marks;
  • Explanatory notes on the nature and quality (or specific) of products bearing the trademark (if the registered trademark is a collective mark used for products of a particular nature or a certified trademark quantity of product or trademark certification of geographical origin);
  • Map of territory determination (if registered trademark is a certification mark of the geographical origin of the product).

The agency receives and processes trademark registration dossiers in Vietnam

Vietnam National Office of Intellectual Property.

Result of stage 1: Trademark registration declaration

Stage 2: Time limit for appraisal of trademark registration form: 01 month from the filing date.

The National Office of Intellectual Property will consider applications that are eligible in form, label, application owner, filing right, grouping, …

If the application of the enterprise meets the conditions, the National Office of Intellectual Property shall notify the acceptance of a valid application and publish the application.

If the application of the enterprise does not meet the conditions, the National Office of Intellectual Property will issue a Notice of disapproval of the application and request the enterprise to amend it. Enterprises make amendments as required and submit revised documents to the National Office of Intellectual Property.

Results of stage 2 the trademark application: Accept valid application

Duration for publication of trademark registration application: 02 months from the date of notification of acceptance of a valid application.

  • Contents of publication of trademark registration applications are information related to valid applications stated in notices on acceptance of valid applications, trademark samples and lists of accompanied goods and services.

Stage 3: Evaluate the content of trademark registration applications:

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

Result of stage 3: Notice of intention to grant trademark protection certificate and payment of licensing fee.

Duration for granting diplomas: 02-03 months from the date of payment of diploma granting fee.

Stage 4: Receive a certificate of trademark registration and handover to customers

Result of stage 4: Certificate of trademark registration

  • After having a decision to issue a diploma, Viet An Law Firm informs you of the enterprise to pay the fees for tripping diplomas and get the diploma of protection of the trademark handed over to the customer.

Term of trademark protection

  • Trademarks are protected within 10 years from the filing date (priority date). Enterprises may extend their protection titles and do not limit the number of extensions. Therefore, the brand will be the property throughout the operation and business process of the enterprise.

According to the experience of Viet An Law Firm, the time for trademark registration usually lasts about 12-18 months from the time of accepting the valid application.

Some notes when implementing trademark registration procedures

Note the color when registering the trademark:

Under the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law, Vietnam does not have specific regulations on the scope of protection of black and white marks and color marks, as well as black-and-white trademark registration or color registration. absolute rights for owners. However, trademark protection practices in Vietnam allow a trademark registered in black-and-white to be used in different colors, as long as the text / image contents of the Trademark and non-infringement of a black-white or other color of registered trademark.

Therefore, the viewpoint of Viet An law firm is that for individuals and businesses that carry out trademark registration in Vietnam, they want to save costs in the process of registering trademark protection or choosing between trademark registration color or black-and-white markings should prioritize trademark registration in the form of black – white will be more optimal.

Note on trademark registration (also called logo), letter mark, positioning sentence (slogan) when registering trademark:

  • Image marks (also known as logos): can be independently registered as a trademark or in combination with the brand’s letter, positioning sentences when registering trademarks;
  • Word mark: when registering the trademark, the registered owner can choose the form of the trademarked letter in the following forms:
  • The first form of trademark registration: merely made up of standard letters or numerals and only in black – white, simple form. The standard letter mark owner has a wide right to use a registered trademark, which is the right to use a trademark in any font or color that he / she wants as long as it does not violate a trademark’s right. Other are protected. Such use will not prejudice the protected content of the trademark.
  • The limitation of this type of registration of the first letter should be noted that when using such discretion, only the content of the trademark is protected and the typeface or unique presentation format and color of trademarks will not be covered by the standard letter mark registered and granted a protection title.
  • The form of the second letter mark registration: made up of letters, words, stylized or visualized digits or containing colors. Trademarks registered in this form are obviously still protected both in terms of the core content of the trademark, the letter structure, the pronunciation and the meaning of the word (if any) as the standard print mark. However, since trademarks are further protected by presentation (typeface or special presentation) so its protection effect is enhanced more strongly against competitors’ intentions to access trademarks not only in terms of content but also in terms of brand expression.
  • The limitation of this second type of trademark registration is that when registering a stylized letter mark, the right to use a stylized letter mark is limited by using only the same trademark as the registered one, without the option of using the trademark in other words or other ways.

Notice of priority rights affects trademark applications

The priority in trademark registration affects the granting or non-granting of a protection title to another subject’s trademark registration application. Under the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law and related international treaties, during the period from the first filing date to the filing date in Vietnam, another subject shall apply to the same subject in the first application. The first submitter’s application is still considered to have the same filing date as the first filing date and priority is given to protection. Therefore, no one dared to claim that the trademark applied and looked up the status of trademark registration will ensure that a protection title will be granted.

Some notes when designing and selecting trademarks:

  • In order to ensure the possibility of being protected exclusively for trademarks of their enterprises, enterprises need to design trademarks to ensure their uniqueness and reflect their own characteristics for goods and services at the same time there must be a difference with the brand of another unit.
  • Brands can combine letters and pictures. In case the trademark is just a letter, there should be a stylization so that it can be granted a protection title when registering.
  • Some elements that are not granted protection titles (ie exclusion signs should not be used as trademarks) include:
  • Trademarks should not be designed as simple shapes, figures, numbers, letters, and letters of non-common languages.
  • Trademarks should not be designed as signs, conventional symbols, drawings, common names of goods and services in any language (such as translation into English, Japanese, Chinese, Latin …)
  • Trademarks should not be designed to indicate the time, place, production method, type, quantity, quality, nature, composition, utility, value or other descriptive properties goods, services;
  • Trademarks should not be designed as a sign describing legal forms, business areas;
  • Trademarks should not be designed as signs indicating the geographical origin of goods or services;
  • The best way to evaluate trademark protection is to look up the trademark before filing a trademark application. Viet An Law Firm is willing to provide free preliminary search for customers before performing the next tasks in the trademark registration process.

Consultancy services for trademark registration in Vietnam of Viet An Law Firm:

  • Legal advice on procedures and conditions for trademark registration;
  • Advice on feasibility when registering trademarks;
  • Free preliminary search of trademark registration capability;
  • Formal trademark lookup at Intellectual Property Department – Independent cost;
  • Representation of trademark registration for customers in the process of trademark registration;
  • Drafting of trademark registration documents;
  • Filing and monitoring the registration and testing process at the National Office of Intellectual Property;
  • Representing customers in the whole process of establishing rights and responding to documents exchanged with the National Office of Intellectual Property about trademark registration;
  • Exchange, provide information for customers in the process of registering trademark protection.

Enterprises and individuals wishing to register trademarks please contact Viet An Law Firm for advice, detailed instructions on filing, how to classify trademarks, procedures related to applications. trademark registration or problems arising in the trademark registration in Vietnam process.

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