What is the trademark registration process in Vietnam?

Trademark registration process in Vietnam. It can be said that trademark is a special asset, especially in its possession, use and disposition due to its territorial nature. Therefore, today, countries around the world have built their own system of trademark registration and have a complete trademark registration process so that individuals or organizations can easily register trademarks in those countries.

According to the provisions of Vietnam’s intellectual property law, “a mark is a sign used to distinguish goods and services of different organizations and individuals”, any subject performing trademark registration process must go through the evaluation stages according to the provisions of the law, with no exceptions.

The trademark registration process in Viet Nam is as follows:

Step 01: Trademark search (optional)

The purpose is to check whether the trademarks that you intend to register are identical or similar to other trademarks.

This can be considered as the most important step in the whole process because if it is just omitted when searching or having no expertise to accurately verify, the possibility of trademark rejection is very high. That is why you need an IP lawyer to do a search and assess the possibility of protecting your trademark. In case the trademark does not meet the requirements of protection, the lawyer will advise you on how to proceed to make your trademark different.

Step 02: Filing the trademark registration

A trademark application shall be filed to the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP)

Dossier for trademark registration in 2021:

1. Minimum documentation

Application (02 copies)

Trademark samples (05 samples) (can be black and white, in color or digital);

Receipt of payment of fees and charges.

For collective trademarks, certification trademarks, the applicant must include the following documents:

Regulations on the use of trademarks

A description of the characteristic (or specific) nature and quality of the branded product

A map of the geographical area

A document of the People’s Committee of a province or centrally run city permitting the use of a place name or other sign indicating the geographical origin of a local specialty for trademark registration

2. Other documents (if any)

– Power of Attorney to authorize the Industrial Property Representative (if the application filed through an Industrial Property Representative);

– Documents certifying that special signs are allowed to be used (if the trademark contains symbols, flags, badges of domestic and international agencies, organizations…);

– Documents certifying the right to register;

– Document confirming the enjoyment of the right to register from another person;

– Documents proving the priority (if the application has a request for priority).

Step 03: Formality Examination

Time limit for formality examination: 01 month from the filing date.

If the application satisfies the conditions, the NOIP will notify the acceptance of the valid application and publish it.

If the application is not valid: The  NOIP will issue a Notice of non-acceptance of the application. You must make modifications as required and submit the amended documents to the NOIP.

Step 04: Publication of trademark registration

Time limit for publication of trademark registration applications: 02 months from the date of acceptance as a valid application.

The valid trademark registration application shall be published in the Industrial Property Official Gazette.

Step 05: Objection

This period starts from the date of publication to the date of receiving the substantive examination results.

After the application is published in the Official Gazette of Industrial Property. Any third party has the right to request the NOIP not to issue a trademark registration certificate for that application.

Step 06: Substantive Examination

The time limit for substantive examination: 09 months from the date of publication.

A valid trademark application will be substantially examined to assess the protection ability of the trademark stated in the application and determine the corresponding scope of protection according to the protection conditions.

If the trademark registration application satisfies all conditions, the NOIP shall issue a notice of intention to grant a trademark to the mark.

If the trademark registration application does not meet the conditions, the NOIP issues a notice not to grant a certificate for the trademark. The applicant shall consider and send a written complaint to the NOIP, and at the same time provide grounds for registering a trademark protection certificate to the trademark that the enterprise has submitted.

After all, you will have 03 months to respond to the result of the substantive examination.

Step 07: Grant trademark registration certificates, registration, publication

Based on the results of the substantive examination, if the object stated in the application satisfies the protection standards, the NOIP shall request the applicant payment of fees. You will have 03 months to pay the certification issuance fee. Then the NOIP shall officially grant the Trademark Registration Certificate to the applicant; at the same time recorded in the National Register of Trademarks and published in the Official Gazette.