Registration in the trend of global integration in trade and legislation, Vietnam promulgated the Law on Intellectual Property 2005 (IP Law), in which regulations on opposition are particularly stipulated. In the context of increasing imitation of trademark, opposition procedure facilitates trademark examination and became an effective administrative measure against misappropriated (imitation) application of trademark.
1. Deadline for filing an opposition to a trademark application in Vietnam?
The deadline for filing an opposition to a trademark application in Vietnam is stipulated particularly in the IP Law.
According to Vietnam Trademark system, during examination of trademark applications as from the date when a trademark application is published on the Industrial Property Official Gazette until prior to the date of decision on granting Certificate of trademark registration, an opposition request should be filed to the NOIP. Such request will not be accepted by the NOIP for handling if it is filed after the date of decision on granting trademark registration.However, under our current practice, the applicant could request for an acceleration examination, shorter than provided period of 09 months. Therefore please be noted that possible opposition should be filed as soon as possible.
Pursuant to the IP Law, foreign opponents are not allowed to file opposition requests directly at the NOIP but must authorize a lawful IP representative in Vietnam to proceed with such action based on a required original Power of Attorney (POA). Under current practice in Vietnam, a copy of POA may be acceptable for filing opposition and the original one could be filed later. However, the NOIP will not consider the opposition until the original POA is filed and all formality requirements are satisfied.
In case the third party is a legal entity (company or corporation) and owns a corporation seal under their jurisdiction, the POA should be signed by the authorized person and then affixed the corporation’s seal. In case the corporation seal is not available, only the signature is acceptable. No further notarization or legalization is required.
3. Trademark opposition Procedure in Vietnam
The opposition request must be in written form and the source of its accompanied supporting materials (if any) must be specified.
A possible opposition will be considered at the time of the trademark application’s examination as to substance.
As a general rule, within 01 month (in fact, the time can extend to 02-04 months) as from the receiving date of our opposition, the NOIP will consider and then may convey its contents to the Applicant and fix about 01 month for them to present opinions. After receiving response of the Applicant (if they submit), the NOIP will inform and give the Opponent 01 month for filing response, submission of opinions.
In some cases, the NOIP may give conclusion upon consideration of opposition without conveying its contents to the Applicant if they think that it is clear enough to conclude. It is possible for the NOIP to organize conversation between the Opponent and the Applicant, upon request of the two parties, to clarify the matter (if necessary).
Upon considering the evidences submitted by the two parties, the NOIP will make a decision to accept opposition or not.
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