Vietnam is one of many countries in the world where the “first to file” principle is applied for protection of Intellectual Property. Specifically, when filing trademark in Vietnam, the protection titles may only be granted with respect to the valid application with the earliest date of priority or filing date among the applications that satisfy all the conditions for the issue of a protection title. Therefore, the owner should file trademark in Vietnam as soon as possible to get a better filing date.
Under Vietnamese current trademark regulation, each application is acceptable to be filed for only ONE mark, it is NOT possible to file a series mark. However, multi-class trademark applications are possible in Vietnam, accordingly up to 45 classes of goods and services can be claimed under one application.
Generally, a Vietnamese trademark application is processed at the IP Office of Vietnam (IPVN) in the following order:
1. Searching before filing trademark application in Vietnam
For estimation of the possibility of success in trademark registration, it is recommended to conduct a full similarity search before filing trademark in Vietnam in order to save time and cost as well as reduce possible risks in case the trademark is unregistrable. You can see more details about trademark search in Vietnam in this article.
2. Filing trademark in Vietnam
As our usual, the filing receipt of application which is issued by IPVN at the filing trademark in Vietnam will be forwarded to you within 24 hours.
3. Formality examination
Under the Intellectual Property Laws of Vietnam, the duration for the formality examination step to determine whether or not the application for trademark registration is filed in due form will take  month from date of filing trademark in Vietnam.
4. Publication for opposition
Then, the application for trademark registration in Vietnam shall be published in the National Trademark Gazette within  months, for the opposition by any third party, as from the date on which the Notice of official acceptance of application as filed in due form is issued.
5. Substantive examination
Next, the application for trademark registration in Vietnam will be examined as to the substantive examination to define the registrability. It will take  months as from the date on which the application for trademark registration is published in the National Trademark Gazette.
6. Granting Certificate of Trademark Registration
Last, if neither objection by trademark examiner on base of ABSOLUTE and RELATIVE grounds nor opposition by any third party, the office decision of grant of the Certificate for application for trademark registration will be issued. Normally, the Certificate will be expected within  months afterward.
In summary, it takes approximately [18-20] months from the date of filing to obtain a Certificate of Trademark Registration in case of neither objection nor opposition, in practice.
A certificate of trademark registration in Vietnam shall be effective from the granting date and last for 10 years from the filing date, and can be renewed for indefinitely for each consecutive 10-year term.
7. Notes and requirements for filing trademark in Vietnam
The Specification of goods/services
- Vietnamese Trademark Law requires all the designated goods/services which are covered in the application must be specified. The item of goods/services in general meanings or item in the class headings as well is not accepted;
- Any item of goods/services listed in Alphabet and under specific code described in the Nice Classification will be accepted smoothly in examination as to form process. Vice versa, the “GENERAL REMARKS” in the Nice Agreement and other point of view of Examiners will be applied for the examination.
- One original Power of Attorney, POA, executed by a person in charge.
In case the applicant is a legal entity (company or corporation) and own a corporation seal under their jurisdiction, the POA should be signed by authorized person and then affixed the corporation’s seal. In case the corporation seal is not available, only the signatures are acceptable. No further notarization or legalization is required.
The copy of POA is accepted at filing, but the original POA must be submitted within one  month counted from the filing date without any extra fee.
- The interested goods/services for which are applied in specific one by one;
- The sample of mark in .JPEG file (with a minimum resolution of 600 dpi) and not exceed 8 centimeters both in length and width;
- An original of priority trademark application certified by the Registry in case of claim of the priority rights [NO further notarization or legalization is required].
More information about trademark practice in Vietnam can be found HERE.
In case you require more information or require advice on filing trademark in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org