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Geographical Indication Registration in Vietnam

Each people must have heard of Doan Hung Pomelo, Phu Quoc Fish Sauce, or Tan Cuong Tea... at least one. These are products attached with place names of their origin and protected by law in the form of a geographical indication guide. Products with such geographical indications help customers easily to identify and be assured of their quality for use. Individuals and organizations producing goods can build their own brands and products have their own characteristics to attract many customers. Therefore, the implementation of geographical indication registration is necessary. To assist customers in learning about geographical indication registration, Viet An Law would like to provide the following information:


Geographical Indication Registration In Vietnam

What is a geographical indication?


A geographical indication is a sign that refers to a product originating in a particular region, locality, territory, or country. The reputation of a product bearing a geographical indication is determined by geographical conditions, it is also determined by consumers’ confidence in that product through how widely consumers know and choose that product. Geographical conditions that bring about reputation, characteristics, and quality of products bearing geographical indications include Natural factors (climate, hydrology, geology, topography, ecosystems, and other conditions); Human factors (skills, techniques or procedures, traditional local production processes, etc). Quality and characteristic of a product bearing geographical indication are determined by one or several qualitative, quantitative, or organoleptic criteria in terms of physical, chemical, and microbiological and such criteria in terms of physical, chemical, and microbiological and such criteria must be capable of controlling by verifiable technical or by an expert with a suitable test method.  


Right to register a geographical indication


The right to register geographical indications belongs to the State. The State allows organizations and individuals producing products bearing geographical indications, collective organizations representing such organizations, and individuals or local administrative management agencies where such geographical indications are located to have the right to register a geographical indication. Thus, the person who performs the right to register a geographical indication does not become the owner of that geographical indication.


Protection conditions for geographical indication


Geographical indication means the sign used to identify a product as originating from a specific region, locality, territory, or country. General conditions for geographical indications to be eligible for protection including:


  • The product bearing the geographical indication originates from the area, locality, territory, or country corresponding to such geographical indication.
  • The product bearing the geographical indication has a reputation, quality, or characteristics mainly attributable to geographical conditions of the area, locality, territory, or country corresponding to such geographical indication.


Objects ineligible for protection as geographical indications including:


  • Names or indications which have become generic names of goods in Vietnam;
  • Geographical indications of foreign countries where they are not, or no longer, protected or used;
  • Geographical indications identical with or similar to a protected mark, where the use of such geographical indication is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of products;
  • Geographical indications mislead consumers as to the true geographical origin of products bearing such geographical indications.

Dossier for geographical indication registration:

  • 02 registration form for geographical indications, typed according to form No 05 – CDDL Appendix A of Circular 01/2007/TT-BKHCN;
  • A description of the specific nature/quality and/or reputation of the product;
  • A map of the geographical area corresponding to the geographical indication;
  • Receipts of fee payments;
  • A power of attorney (if the geographical indication registration application is submitted through an industrial property representation service organization);
  • Documents confirming permission to use special signs (if the protection claim contains symbols, flags, badges of domestic and international agencies and organizations...);
  • Documents confirming the right to register;
  • Documents confirming the right to register from another person;
  • Documents proving right of priority (if the application has a claim for priority).


Procedures for geographical indication registration:


Step 1: Submit a geographical indication registration application:


Applicants can choose to submit a written application or an online application through the National Office of Intellectual Property’s online public service portal, specifically as follows:

  • Written application form:


An applicant may submit a geographical indication registration application directly or via postal service to one of the Intellectual Property offices, specifically:


- The National Intellectual Property Office, address: 386 Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi city.

- Representative office of the National Office of Intellectual Property in Ho Chi Minh city, address: 7th 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 Office of Intellectual Property in Da Nang city, address: 3rd floor, 135 Minh Mang Street, Khue My Ward, Ngu Hanh Son District, Da Nang city.

In case of submitting an application for geographical indication registration by post, applicants need to transfer money through the postal service, then photocopy the remittance receipt attached with the application to submit to one of the above agencies of the Intellectual Property to prove the amount paid.


Notices: When transferring fees and charges to one of the above-mentioned applications of the Intellectual Property, the applicant needs to send the application by post to that application.

  • Online application form:


Conditions for online application: Applicant needs to have a digital certificate and digital signature, register an account on the Online Application Receiving System, and have an account approved by the National Office of Intellectual Property to perform intellectual property rights.


Step 2: Form appraisal of the geographical indication registration application.


Appraise compliance with the regulations on the form of the application, thereby making a conclusion whether the application is considered valid or not.

In case the submitted application contains mistakes, the Intellectual Property Office will issue a notice to the applicant and within 01 month from the date of notification, the applicant must correct such mistakes.


Step 3: Issue a notice of acceptance/rejection of the application:


In case the application is valid, the Intellectual Property Office will issue a notice to accept the application.

In case the application is invalid, the Intellectual Property Office will issue a refusal notice to accept the application.


Step 4: Publish the geographical indication registration application:


Within 02 months from the date of accepting the valid application, the application will be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette.


Step 5: Content appraisal:


This procedure is intended to assess the protectability of a geographical indication stated in an application. The time limit for a substantive appraisal is 06 months from the date of application publication.


Step 6: Make a decision to grant/refuse to grant a protection title


In case the object stated in the application fails to satisfy the requirements for protection, the Intellectual Property Office will issue a refusal decision to grant a protection title;

If the object stated in the application satisfies the requirements for protection and the applicant pays to fulfill fees, the Intellectual Property Office will grant the protection title and record on the National Register of Intellectual Property, published in the Official Gazette of Intellectual Property.


Viet An Law’s services on geographical indication registration procedures:

  • Legal advice on geographical indication registration procedures;
  • Draft geographical indication registration dossier;
  • Submit and follow the progress at the Intellectual Property office;
  • Discuss and provide information to customers in the process of geographical indication registration procedures.


For any difficulties or problems related to the geographical indication registration procedures, please contact Viet An Law for the fastest advice.



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