TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

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What is trademark?

Trademark means any sign used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations or individuals.

Signs eligible for being registered as trademark must be visible ones in the form of letters, numerals, words, pictures, images, including three-dimensional images or their combinations, presented in one or several given colors. It is capable of distinguishing goods or services of the trademark owner from those of other subjects.

Typically, trademark registration applies to logo designs or label designs. 

How a trademark is used?

Using the trademark is one of the following activities:

  1. Affixing protected trademarks on goods, goods packages, means of business, means of services, documents of transactions in business activities;
  2. Circulating, offering for sale, advertising for sale, keeping for sale of goods bearing the protected trademark;
  3. Import of goods or services bearing the protected trademark. 

Who has the right to register a trademark?

Organizations and individuals shall have the right to register trademark to be used for goods such organizations or individuals produce or for services such organizations or individuals provide.

Any organization or individual lawfully engaged in commercial activities shall have the right to register a trademark for a product which the latter puts onto the market but which was manufactured by others, provided that the manufacturer does not use such trademark for a product and does not object to such registration.

How to register a trademark?

1.Who can register a trademark?

Vietnamese organizations and individuals, foreign individuals permanently residing in Vietnam, and foreign organizations and individuals having production or business establishments in Vietnam shall file applications for registration of establishment of industrial property rights either directly or through their lawful representatives in Vietnam.

Foreign individuals not permanently residing in Vietnam and foreign organizations and individuals without production or business establishments in Vietnam shall file applications for registration of establishment of industrial property rights through their lawful representatives in Vietnam.

2. Searching information

Before proceeding the registration, the applicant must search for the information related to the expectedly registered trademark to assess the ability of trademark protection.

3. Classification of the expectedly registered goods or services

Depending on the need to use a trademark, the class of goods and services to be registered shall be determined according to the International Classification of Goods and Services Nice or the Vienna Classification.

Nice International Classification of Goods and Services is an international classification system used to classify goods and services for the purposes of trademark registration. The Nice Classification was developed under the Nice Agreement in 1957 and is regularly revised by a Council of Experts of the Nice Committee.

The Vienna Classification is a hierarchical system used to classify the figurative elements of a trademark into Class – Group – Grouping on the basis of the geometry of the figurative elements. The Vienna Classification was developed under the Vienna Agreement in 1973 and is regularly revised by a Council of Experts of the Vienna Committee.

4. Registration documents

Documents for registering the trademarks will include:

  1. 02 Declaration for registration which are typed according to form No. 04-NH Appendix A of Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN [The trademark description: the sample of the trademark must be described in order to clarify elements of the trademark and the comprehensive meaning of the trademark, if any; where the trademark consists of words or phrases of hieroglyphic languages, such words or phrases must be transcribed; where the trademark consists of words or phrases in foreign languages, such words or phrases must be translated into Vietnamese. If the trademark contains numerals other than Arabic and Roman numerals, those numerals must be transliterated into Arabic numerals. The section “List of goods and services bearing the trademark” in the written declaration must be divided into groups in accordance with the International Classification of Goods and Services under the latest version of Nice Agreement the 11st version.
  2. 05 identical trademark specimens that satisfy the following requirements: The attached trademark specimens must be exactly the same as the trademark specimens affixed on the registration application in both size and color and must be clearly presented with the dimensions of each element of the trademark ranging between 8 mm and 80 mm, and the entire trademark must be presented within a trademark model of 80 mm x 80 mm in size in the written declaration; For a trademark involving colors, the trademark specimen must be presented with the colors sought to be protected.
  3. Fee and charge receipts.
  4. For an application for registration of a collective trademark or certification trademark, in addition to the documents specified above, the application must also contain the following documents:
    • Regulations on use of collective trademarks and certification trademarks;
    • Explanation of particular characteristics and quality of the product bearing the trademark (if the to-be-registered trademark is a collective trademark used for a product with unique characteristics or a trademark for certification of the quality of a product or a trademark for certification of geographical origin);
    • Map showing the indicated territory (if the to-be-registered trademark is a trademark for certification of the geographical origin of a product);
    • Document of the People’s Committee of a province or city directly under the Central Government permitting the use of geographical names or signs indicating the geographical origin of local specialties to register a trademark (if the registered trademark is a collective trademark certification trademark contains place names or signs indicating the geographical origin of local specialties).

Other documents (if any)

  1. Power of attorney (in case the request is filed through a representative);
  2. Documents certifying the permission to use special signs (if the trademark contains emblems, flags, armorial bearings, abbreviated names or full names of Vietnamese state agencies/ organizations or international organizations, etc.);
  3. Paper on assignment of the right to file an application (if any);
  4. Documents certifying the lawful right of registration (in case the applicant enjoys the right to file from another person);
  5. Documents evidencing the right of priority (if the patent application has a claim for priority right).

5. General requirements for registration applications

– Each application can request grant of one protection title which is of a type suitable to the trademark stated in the application;

– All documents of the application must be in Vietnamese. For documents that are allowed to made in another language according to the provisions of Points 7.3 and 7.4 of Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN must be translated into Vietnamese;

– All documents of the application must be presented in the portrait format (particularly, drawings, figures, charts and tables may be presented landscape) on A4 paper sheets (210 mm x 297 mm), of which the top, bottom, left and right margins are all 20 mm, in Times New Roman font, text is not smaller than size 13, except for accompanied documents originally not intended to be included in the application;

– For documents that must be made according to pre-designed forms, those forms shall be used with all necessary information filled in appropriate sections;

– A document consisting of many pages must have page numbers in Arabic;

– All documents must be typewritten or printed with a non-fading ink, clear and clean, and free from erasures and modifications; if detecting any negligible spelling error in a document submitted to the Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam (IPVN), the applicant may correct such error but shall append his/her signature of certification (and a seal, if any) at the corrected words;

– Terms used in the application must be common ones (other than dialects, rare words, coined words). Symbols, units of measurement, electronic fonts and spelling rules used in the application must conform to Vietnam standards;

– The application may be accompanied with carriers of electronic data of part or the entire content of its documents.

6. Time limit for processing a trademark registration applications

From the date on which the registration application is received by the IPVN, the registration application of a trademark shall be examined in the following order:

– Formality examination: within 01 month;

– Publication of trademark  registration applications: within 02 months after it is accepted as a valid application;

– Substantively examined: within 09 months from the date of application publication.

Note: the above time limit may be extended in case it is necessary to provide explanation at the request of the IPVN in the process.

7. Methods of filing application

The applicant may choose paper filing or online filing through the IPVN’s online public service portal.

Conditions for online filing: Applicants need to have a digital certificate, a digital signature and a registered account which is approved by the IPVN on the Online Application Receiving System.

Trademark Registration Certificate and validity

A protection title recording the owner of a trademark is called a Trademark Registration Certificate.

Trademark Registration Certificates are valid from the date of issue until the end of ten years from the filing date, renewable for successive ten years.

In order to renew the validity of a Trademark Registration Certificate, the protection title owner must pay a fee for the renewal of the validity. Fee rates and procedures for maintaining and extending the validity of protection titles shall be specified by the Government.

The trademark owner is obliged to continuous use the trademark. In cases the trademark has not been used continuously for more than five years, the trademark registration certificate shall be invalidated.

Above are Law Plus’s general guidelines related to trademark registration. However, in the course of implementation, the trademark registration applicant needs to pay attention to the assessment of the possibility of confusion and the similarity of the trademark when checking. In addition, attention should be given to the classification of goods/services, the principles of priority, the principle of first filing, and the handling of problems arising during the registration process within the specified time limit.

Law Plus provides the trademark registration and free checking support for customers on the trademark. We provide professional support services on trademark protection and the most effectively safe of the intellectual rights of individuals and organizations effectively, quickly, with quality and at reasonable cost including:

    1. Look up/cross-check information of trademarks, industrial designs;
    2. Consultancy and registration of protection of trade name;
    3. Consultancy and registration of protection of logo;
    4. Consultancy and registration of protection of trademarks;
    5. Consultancy and registration of protection of industrial designs;
    6. Consultancy and registration of protection of inventions;
    7. Consultancy and registration of copyright and related rights;
    8. Consultancy and registration of protection of plant variety;
    9. Franchising and licensing;

Please contact us via hotline +84 2862 779 399 or email info@lawplus.vn for detailed consulting.

Law Plus

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