A Vietnamese trade mark registration:
- gives the exclusive right to use the mark in Vietnam for the goods/services that it covers;
- makes it easier and cheaper to take legal action against trademark infringement compared with an action based on a non-registered well-known mark or unfair competition (which inter alia requires proof of rights on the basis of use and showing that the mark is well-known or famous in Vietnam, which tends to be a high hurdle);
- allows the owner to file a notice with Vietnam Customs authorising them to detain allegedly infringing/counterfeit goods;
- allows public prosecutors to bring criminal charges against counterfeiters; and
- is a property right, which can be sold, licensed, etc.
The National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam ("NOIP").
In addition, an International Registration may designate Vietnam through the Madrid System.
- A simply signed Power of Attorney in the name of the applicant;
- A representation of the mark;
- Full name and address of the applicant; and
- A list of goods/services to be covered by the application.
14 to 16 months (for an application which does not encounter any objections).
The NOIP and third parties.
The NOIP examines the application to determine whether it meets formality and substantive requirements. The substantive examination is based on both absolute ground (inherent distinctiveness) and relative ground (whether there are any earlier identical/similar marks). If the mark does not comply with the requirements, the NOIP will issue objections against the application.
A third party can object by means of an opposition or an invalidation action. Opposition procedure takes place in parallel with substantive examination of the application. Invalidation procedure is post-registration.
10 years from the date of application, and this term can be renewed perpetually every 10 years for further 10-year periods.
Not at the time of filing but if a registered trade mark is not used in Vietnam for 5 consecutive years, the registration will become vulnerable to cancellation for non-use.