Procedures for registering trademarks in Vietnam

Trademark registration establishes the legal ownership of your brand and then creates the foundation for the long-term development. So, how are the current regulations’ trademark registration procedures implemented? Let’s find out with INVESTIP in the following article.

Criteria for trademark protection in Vietnam

  • A visible sign expressed in the form of letters, words, drawings, images, including holograms, or a combination thereof, monochromatic or polychromatic, and sound marks that are graphically represented;
  • Capable of distinguishing goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings.

Conduct a trademark search prior to the filing

It is advisable the applicant to do a trademark search before filing a trademark application. It is crucial to determine the registrability of his mark.

We note that the most common ground which makes businesses fail to register trademarks is the lack of distinctiveness between their marks and others. Then, the Trademark Search can help you to locate this risk for you timely and necessary actions.

Vietnam trademark registration procedures

Step 1:  Filing

Individuals and organizations can apply for trademark registration by the following means:

  • File the application directly at the headquarter of the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (hereinafter abbreviated as IPVN) or at the Representative Offices of the IPVN in Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang City;
  • File the application by post to the headquarter of the IPVN or the IPVN’s Representative Offices;
  • File the online application: Applicants need to have a digital certificate, a digital signature and a registered account which is approved by the IPVN on the Online Application Receiving System.

All the filing fee is required to be paid to the IPVN on the filing date.

Step 2: Formality examination and Publication

Time limit for the formality examination: 01-02 months as of the filing date;

Time limit for Publication of the application in the IPVN’s Official Gazette: 02 months as of the date of Formality Acceptance. 

Step 3: Substantive examination

Time limit for the substantive examination: 09-12 months as of the publication date.

Step 4: Notice of Grant or Refusal

After the substantive examination, the IPVN shall issue a notice of grant or refusal in respect of the trademark registration, addressing the relevant grounds.

Step 5: Paying the granting fee

Upon receipt of the Notice of Grant, the applicant pays a granting fee within the due date to get his mark registered.

The IPVN issue the Certificate of Trademark Registration to the owner within 01-02 months as of the payment date of granting fees, then publish the Registration Information within 2 months afterwards.

Documentation required for filing a trademark:

  • 02 Applications of trademark registration;
  • 05 trademark samples attached to the application;
  • Proof of fee payment;
  • Power of attorney (if the application is filed through an intellectual property agency).

In case the filing is made for a collective mark or a certification mark, the applicant need submit a regulation on use of the mark and other relevant documents.

Main circumstances in which trademarks are not eligible for protection due to being devoid of distinctiveness:

  • Simple shapes and geometric figures, numerals, letters or scripts of uncommon languages
  • Conventional signs or symbols, pictures or common names, product shape and product packages;
  • Descriptive trade marks;
  • Signs which are identical with or confusingly similar to prior registered trademarks;
  • Signs which are identical with or confusingly similar to prior trademarks which have been widely used;
  • Signs which are identical with or confusingly similar to a prior mark which has been terminated for no more than 03 years
  • Signs which are identical with or confusingly similar to well-known mark
  • Signs which cause confusion among consumers as to a prior trade name
  • Signs which cause confusion among consumers as to a geographical indication.

Trademark Registration Service at INVESTIP

  • Trademark Availability Search;
  • Advice on the Registrability and Use of a trademark;
  • Advice on amendment of the trademark to increase the Registrability;
  • Advice on trademark registration procedures;
  • Represent the client to work with the IPVN in respect of the trademark registration.

Please contact INVESTIP for advice and services if you need to register the trademark in Vietnam.