How to protect your brand in Vietnam

A recognized emblem, phrase, word, or symbol that indicates a certain product and legally distinguishes it from all other goods of its sort is referred to as a trademark. A trademark is a symbol that uniquely identifies a product as belonging to a certain firm and acknowledges that company’s ownership of the brand.

In this article, Luat Phuc Cau will provide you essential information about trademarks protection.

1.What is a trademark? The difference between trademark and brand

According to the Law on Intellectual Property, a trademark is “means any sign used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations or individuals”. Signs eligible for being registered as trademarks 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.

The execution of trademark registration is not only a required and sufficient prerequisite for each item and service before entering the market, but it also serves as a foundation for the growth of the company’s tangible assets.

But Viet Nam’s law system has not defined “brand”. We just know about the brand as something considered one of the business’s biggest intangible assets. Sometimes the entire value of buildings, equipment investment, products, goods, and services is still worth less than the value of the brands owned by enterprises.

2.Classification of products and goods of Trademarks

The International Classification of Trademarks (Nice Classification Boar), which is used globally, is used to classify registered trademarks. There are numerous categories for all goods and services on the market, yet there are only 45 according to the trademark categorization table. There are 34 categories for products and 11 categories for services.

The mark registration fee in Vietnam is computed depending on the category of goods and services for which a trademark is registered. As a result, the greater the registration price, the more kinds of products and services customers register.

3.Registration procedure for trademarks

a.Minimum documents

– 02 Declaration for registration which is typed according to form No. 04-NH Appendix A of Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN;

– In addition to the mark specimen attached to the written declaration, the application must be enclosed with 05 identical mark specimens that satisfy the following requirements: a marked specimen must be clearly presented with the dimensions of each element of the mark ranging between 8 mm and 80 mm, and the entire mark must be presented within a marking model of 80 mm x 80 mm in size in the written declaration; For a mark involving colors, the mark specimen must be presented with the colors sought to be protected.

b.Other documents (if any)

– Power of attorney (in case the request is filed through a representative);

– 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.);

– Paper on the assignment of the right to apply (if any);

– Documents certifying the lawful right of registration (in case the applicant enjoys the right to file from another person);

– Documents evidencing the right of priority (if the patent application has a claim for priority right).

4.Fees and charges for trademark registration

– Official charges for applying: VND 150,000/ 01 application;

– Fee for publication of application: VND 120,000/ 01 application;

– Fee for the trademark search for the substantive examination process: VND 180,000/ 01group of goods or services;

– Fee for the trademark search from the 7th good or service onwards: VND 30,000/ 01 good or service;

– Fee for formality examination: VND 550,000/ 01 group of goods or services;

– Fee for formality examination from the 7th good or service onwards: VND 120,000/ 01 good or service.

5.The time limit for processing 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:

– A trademark registration application shall have its formality examination within 01 month from the filing date.

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

– An industrial property registration application shall be substantively examined within 18 months from the date of application publication. In fact, it often takes about 2-3 years to be substantively examined.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any further information!

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