A mark shall be protected provided that it satisfies the following conditions:
- It is a visible sign in the form of letters, words, drawings or images, including holograms, represented in one or more colors;
- It is capable of distinguishing goods or services of the mark from those of other subjects.
Trademark in Vietnam
Registrable marks must be distinctive.
Multi-class applications are acceptable in Vietnam, therefore it is possible to file an application for more than one class of goods and/or services.
After the filing, the application is examined by a formal point of view and then it is published in the IP Gazzette. After the publication, there is a substantive examination of the application. Any interested party may file an opposition in the period starting from the date of publication and ending with the decision of the Trademark Office (refusal or granting of trademark).
Owners of marks are obliged to use the marks continuously. Where a mark has not been used for five consecutive years or more, the ownership right to such mark shall be invalidated according to Article 95 of Intellectual Property Law.
Under Article 129, 1) of the Intellectual Property Law
“The following acts if being performed without the permission of mark owners, shall be regarded as infringements of the rights to marks:
- Using signs identical with protected marks for goods or services identical with goods or services on the lists registered together with such marks;
- Using signs identical with protected marks for goods or services similar or related to those goods or services on the list registered together with such marks, if such use is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the goods or services;
- Using signs similar to protected marks for goods or services identical with, similar to or related to goods or services on the lists registered together with such marks, if such use is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the goods or services;
- Using signs identical with, or similar to, well-known marks, or signs in the form of translations or transcriptions of well-known marks for any goods or services, including those unidentical with, dissimilar or unrelated to goods or services on the lists of those bearing well-known marks, if such use is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the goods or services or misleading impression as to the relationship between users of such signs as well-known owners”.
The term of duration of a trademark is 10 years from the filing date and can be renewed indefinitely, each time for ten years.
According to Article 130, 1. c) of Intellectual Property Right, “The following shall be regarded as acts of unfair competition: using marks protected in a country which is a contracting party to a treaty to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is also a contracting party and under which representatives or agents of owners of such marks are prohibited from using such marks, if users are representatives or agents of the mark owners and such use is neither consented to by the mark owners not justified”.