Steps to look up trademark in Vietnam

by Quang Minh

Issues related to intellectual property always attract the concern of many businesses. Building a brand is difficult but protecting your own brand in the market is even more difficult, that is why the state has procedures to help businesses protect their trademarks (to register an intellectual property for the mark). First of all, brands should search for the trademarks of other brands to make sure that the trademark intended to register does not overlap with an existing one. In this article, LSX legal firm will guide you with: “Steps to look up trademark in Vietnam”

  • Law on Intellectual Property 2005

Trademark under Vietnamese legislation

Article 4 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 provides:

“Mark means any sign used to distinguish goods or services of different organizations or individuals.”

You can understand “Trademark” as a term referring to a common trademark of goods and trademarks of services.

The trademark may consist of words, images, or words combined with images represented by one or more colors.

With the function of a marketing tool – conveying to consumers the prestige of products and services bearing the brand formed by the intelligence that businesses invest in that product or service, the law considers the trademark as an intellectual asset of the company. 

Thus, a trademark means a sign used to distinguish goods and services of different organizations and individuals, protected by the law if the mark meets the conditions:

  • A sign used as a mark is a visible sign, which may be in the form of letters, words, drawings, or images, including three-dimensional images or a combination of the above, represented by one or more colors.
  • Such sign provides the capability of distinguishing the goods or services of the mark owner from those of other subjects.

According to the Law on Intellectual Property, trademarks must be registered and granted a protection title by the National Office of Intellectual Property, which is a Certificate of Trademark Registration. The owner has full rights to the protected trademark.

Other types of trademark

Article 4 of the Law on Intellectual Property 2005:

17. Collective mark means a mark used to distinguish goods or services of members of an organization that is the owner of such mark from marks of non-members of such organization.
18. Certification mark means a mark that is authorized by its owner to be used by another organization or individual on the latter’s goods or services in order to certify the origin, raw materials, materials, mode of manufacture of goods, or manner of provision of services, and the quality, accuracy, safety or other characteristics of goods or services bearing such mark.
19. Integrated marks means identical or similar marks registered by the same entity and intended for use on products or services which are of the same, similar, or interrelated type.
20. Well known mark means a mark widely known by consumers throughout the territory of Vietnam.

Why should you look up for trademarks?

Ensure the trademark not duplicated

The trademark research will help brands to check whether the mark that individuals or businesses wish to register duplicate or confusingly similar to other registered trademarks.

Avoid unnecessary wasting of time and expense

The number of trademark registration applications filed at the National Office of Intellectual Property every year is very large. Therefore, it is very important to select trademarks that are not similar or identical to those previously registered.
In case the search results do not satisfy the possibility of registration, this will help the applicant avoid losing money to conduct the registration as well as the time waiting for the NOIP to review the application (besides the time to research and create a new brand).

Check for accuracy

After the registration, the search will help individuals and businesses to check whether the information in the granted trademark certificate correct with the data in the information system of the National Office of Intellectual Property; If having any errors, the applicant can correct them promptly.

Procedures to register a trademark protection

Firstly, submit dossiers for trademark registration

  • The application can be submitted in person or sent by post to the headquarters of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam.

Secondly, examination of dossiers’ formality

  • In case the application conforms to the law, the NOIP shall issue a decision to recognize the application is legitimate;
  • In contrast, The NOIP issues a notice of its intention to refuse the application; which clearly states the reasons and lacks that cause the application to be refused. Within 2 months if the applicant fails to correct the omission; unsatisfactory correction; no objections; objection is unwarranted, the NOIP shall issue a decision to refuse the application.

Thirdly, Publication. After receiving a decision to accept the application; the application then will be published in the Industrial Property Gazette.

Fourthly, content examination of dossiers. This phase evaluates the protection ability of the object stated in the application according to the protection conditions; thereby determining the respective scope of protection.

Fifthly, decide to accept/refuse to grant a protection title.

Steps to look up trademark in Vietnam

Method 1: Look up on the online database of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam.

1: Access the trademark search address: http://iplib.ipvietnam.gov.vn/WebUI/WSearch.php
2: Enter the trademark information to be searched in the search mark box: For example, enter the word VINFAST (for text marks).
3: Enter image classification information in the image classification box (if it is an image label).
4: Enter product/service group information in the product/service group box (Example: group 12) and product/service name information (Example: Car).
After entering all the above information, click on “search”.
The results will be returned for customers to refer to and evaluate whether the trademark they look up is the same or similar to another’s trademark or not.
However, the trademark search in this form is for reference only and the results are only 50% accurate because the above online data will not be fully applied by the time of filing.

The intensive search is a voluntary procedure on the part of the applicant. However, this procedure should be carried out as it is the first and important step in the preliminary assessment of whether a trademark should be filed for protection. The experts of the National Office of Intellectual Property will perform an in-depth search when the enterprise needs to submit the application form.

Method 3: Look up trademarks on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website

http://www.wipo.int

WIPO’s global database allows you to look up trademarks registered under the Madrid system, Appellations of Origin registered under the Lisbon system, and symbols protected under Article 6 of the Paris Convention. Several national trademark databases are also integrated in this database. Through this facility can:

  • Execute a query for multiple data sources at the same time.
  • Find out similar or identical word marks through various search features such as “true-false”, similar, root word, phonetic, and “nearly similar” lookup.
  • Look up identical or similar image marks using the image search function.

If the mark infringes the intellectual property rights of others or violates national laws, the authority may refuse trademark registration.

Before submitting an international application through the Madrid system, the applicant should search for identical or similar marks already existing (or pending) in the target market. 

LSX legal firm provides legal services to clients in various legal areas. To make your case convenient, LSX will perform:

  • Legal advice related to new regulations;
  • Representing in drafting and editing documents;
  • We commit the papers to be valid, and legal for use in all cases;
  • Represent to submit documents, receive results, and hand them over to customers.

With a team of experienced, reputable, and professional consultants; The firm is always ready to support and work with clients to solve legal difficulties.

Furthermore, using our service, you do not need to do the paperwork yourself; We guarantee to help you prepare documents effectively and legally.

Also, you will not have to waste time preparing the application, submitting application, or receiving results. At those stages, we will help you do it smoothly.

After all, LSX provides the service with the desire that customers can experience it the best way. Additionally, we guarantee the cost to be the most suitable and economical for customers.

Contact LSX

Finally, hope this article is useful for you to answer the question about “Steps to look up trademark in Vietnam”. If you need any further information, please contact  LSX Law firm+84846175333 or Email: hoangson@lsx.vn

Dossiers for registration of trademark protection?

Information of the applicant: full name, address, nationality.
Logo (trademark) description: meaning, color, translation from foreign languages into Vietnamese if the trademark contains foreign words
List of goods and services with the trademark, categorized according to the international classification list.
Power of attorney.
Copy of business registration for product categorization.
Logo (trademark) samples: 09 samples.

Disadvantages of registering trademark protection?

Difficulty in terminating the trademark registration for the product.
Possibility to register another’s trademark. speculation in trademark registration for products.

Advantages of registering trademark protection?

After trademark registration, the law will completely protect you. Therefore, no individual or organization has the right to use the same trademark as yours in the same line of business. This ensures your product is exclusive in the market and minimizes consumer confusion.
Trademark infringement acts in a variety of ways. The most typical is to use logos, equivalent trademarks in the same business line. If your trademark is unregistered, it will be very difficult for you to get your rights back. On the contrary, the registration of trademark protection will be a solid legal basis to combat the above behavior.
Where products on the market provide the same function, trademarked products are often preferred by customers. This is the general shopping psychology of customers because trademarked products will reduce counterfeiting. At the same time, the registration of protection shows the professionalism of the supplier.

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