Trademark rights in Vietnam may be established under one of the two registration systems, namely, filing a national trademark application directly with the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (the "NOIP") or by filing an international trademark application under the Madrid Agreement or Protocol designating Vietnam with the International Bureau.
By law, upon completion of the examination process, the NOIP will issue a Certificate of Registration ("COR") for a national trademark registration, if the mark meets the protection criteria. However, for an international trademark registration, the NOIP will issue a certification of such registration only upon the trademark owner's request provided that the owner pays the required fee for the same. In addition, the trademark owner has the right to request the NOIP to grant certified copies, without limitation of the quantity of the copies, of the documents issued and archived by the NOIP and must pay the fees for such requests.
Nonetheless, under Circular No. 263/2016/TT-BTC, dated 14 November, 2016 of the Ministry of Finance prescribing rates and the collection, remittance, management and use of industrial property charges and fees, since 1 January 2017; there are no fees for the requests for issuance of certified copies of the documents issued and archived by the NOIP, as well as issuance of certification of international trademark registration.
Recently, on 8 August, 2017, the NOIP issued Notice No. 6432/TB-SHTT (the "Notice") regarding the above matter, namely as follows:
Until the new regulations concerning the service fees are promulgated, the NOIP will temporarily provide the following services free of charge:
- For each request of granting copies of documents issued and archived by the NOIP, the NOIP will only provide a maximum of five (5) copies for each request.
- For each request of issuance of certification of an international trademark registration designating Vietnam, the NOIP will only provide one (1) certified copy for each registration.
As such, the Notice provides detailed guidance to facilitate the trademark owners as well as the authorities, in order to request the certified copies of the documents regarding the trademark rights in Vietnam.