Please be advised that In Vietnam, multi-class applications are acceptable i.e. an application can be filed for more than one class of goods or service with payment of additional fee for additional class.

Class headings or general description of goods/services is no longer acceptable.

To avoid a potential official action, it is necessary to designate the detailed goods, preferably each item of the goods is equivalent or correlative to a basic number listing in the International Classification of G/S of tenth edition of Nice Classification.

To file a new trademark application in Vietnam, the following information/documents are required:

i)               Full name and address of the Applicant;

ii)             A phonetic transcription/transliteration and identification of the language used should be indicated if there are any elements of the trademark with wording other than in Roman characters;

iii)            A detailed specification of goods and/or services and its corresponding international class, if known;

iv)            five (12) clear prints/specimens of the mark of a size, which is not more than 80x80mm and not less than 15x15mm;

v)              Number Application and filing date of the basic application if a convention priority is claimed.

Original Power of Attorney, which is simply signed by the Applicant. No notarization or legalization is required;

vii)             A certified true copy of the basis application and its sworn Vietnamese translation (if a convention priority is claimed);

Below is the basic procedure for obtaining a trademark registration in Vietnam:

Formality examination

The trademark application as filed shall be subject to examination as to formality within 01 month as from its filing date; however, in practice, it may be extended to further 01–02 months due to the workload of the Trademark Office. In this process, the trademark application shall be examined as to the accuracy of  information, proper classification of goods/services.,etc. If the trademark application is rejected due to its incompliance with the formal criteria, the applicant will be given 01 month for amendment or correction.

If the trademark application meets all requirement as to formality, the NOIP shall issue a Decision on acceptance as to formality for the trademark application. Any related information of the trademark application shall be accordingly recorded.

Publication of Application

The application is then published in the National Gazette within 02 (two) months from the signing date of the Acceptance Date for opposition purpose. During a period from the publication date to the date on that a decision on granting/refusal of a certificate of trademark registration is issued, any third party shall be entitled to file opposition(s) against pending application(s) with the NOIP.

Substantive examination

The application is subsequently examined as to registrability to identify whether or not it meets the criteria for protection such as distinctiveness, availability, etc. The result thereof is expected available within 09 from the publication date.

Upon completion of the substantive examination, if the trademark meets the protection criteria, the NOIP shall issue the Decision on intention to grant a Certificate of Trademark Registration and request the applicant to pay the registration fee. On the contrary, if it does not meet protection criteria, the NOIP shall issue a Notification of refusal and give 02 months for the applicant to respond.

In case, the applicant does not file the respopnse to NOIP’s Notification in due course or the submitted response is not acceped by the NOIP, the NOIP shall issue a Decision on refusal to grant a Certificate of trademark registration and give 90 (ninety) days for applicant to proceed with Appeal.

Registration

Fees for granting and publication must be paid within 01 months as from the signing date of Decision on intention to grant a Certificate of Trademark Registration. After the given time, if no fee is paid, the application will be irrevocably dismissed. Whereas, if fees are sufficiently paid, the NOIP shall issue a Certificate of Trademark Registration and forward the original to the applicant.

In Vietnam, the legal protection of a trademark begins from the date on that the certificate of trademark registration is granted and shall be valid for a period of ten (10) years  from its filing date and can be renewed for consecutive periods of ten years.

The registered trademark needs not be in use in Vietnam at the time of registration, but it is vulnerable to expunction if it is not used for five (5) consecutive years calculated backward in time from the date on which a request for termination of the validity of the registration is made by any third party. However, if the mark is used or re-used at least 3 months prior to the date of the request for termination, the mark likely avoids the invalidation.

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