Foreign and local investors opening companies in Vietnam are strongly recommended to protect the intellectual property rights they have over the name of their trade names. The same is recommended to any individual who has created any work which should be protected from the wrongful or abusive use of others. The rights over intellectual property can be protected by registering copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs or models with the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP).
The most employed and valuable intellectual property rights are those held over trademarks, as these can designate names, logos and brands which can make the difference between companies or other entities. Our Vietnam company formation consultants can explain how to register a trademark with NOIP.
Intellectual Property Law No. 50/2005
Types of trademarks
|Generic, descriptive, service, logos, collective trademarks|
Special registration for foreigners (YES/NO)
|Option to register company name as a trademark (YES/NO)||
|Possibility to register domain name as a trademark (YES/NO)||YES|
|Online registration possibility (YES/NO)||
|Trademark examination duration (approx.)||
4 – 9 months
|Time to obtain a registration certificate (approx.)||Approx. 10 days|
|Total duration of trademark registration process (approx.)||12 – 15 months|
|Validity of registered trademark||10 years|
|Renewal requirements||Renewal application must be filed 6 months before expiry. Renewal is valid for another 10 years|
|International recognition of Vietnamese trademark (YES/NO)||YES|
|Special trademark registration requirements (YES/NO)||Unless used for 5 years, the trademark registration certificate is revoked|
|Trademark registration services availability (YES/NO)||YES|
|Other IP-rights services availability (YES/NO)||YES, trademark renewal services, international trademark registration services|
Who can apply for trademark registration in Vietnam?
In Vietnam, trademark registration is available for everybody who has marks or signs that respect the national and even international legislation in this sense. Therefore, both individuals and companies are allowed to register trademarks in this country, no matter if they are Vietnamese nationals or foreigners.
All they need to do is to file the paperwork related to the mark they want to have recognized by the Intellectual Property Office and wait to obtain the registration certificate.
One can obtain registration for various types of trademarks, as long as these respect the classification of goods or services. For this purpose, it is worth noting that Vietnam respects the NICE classification system which is available at the international level.
Trademark registration in Vietnam respects the main international agreements in this sense which is what makes it an appealing country to use a mark in.
Our company formation agents in Vietnam are at your service if you want to obtain protection for your company’s name on the territory of this country and thus enhance the value of your brand.
Legislation on trademark registration in Vietnam
Vietnam’s intellectual property legislation is rather recent, as it dates back to 2005. Here are the main laws to respect when it comes to registering a trademark in Vietnam:
- Law No. 50 from 2005 on Intellectual Property which was amended in 2009;
- Decree No. 103 from 2006 which provides for the number of articles that can be registered as trademarks in Vietnam;
- Decree No. 99/2013 on the violation of intellectual property rights.
There are also other laws that provide for the registration of Vietnamese trademarks, the latest one dating back in 2016 and covers the Law on Pharmacy which now contains details on the registration of marks of products in this category.
It is safe to say that Vietnam has one of the most modern intellectual property legislations among Asian countries. If you want to register a trademark here, our agents can help you.
The classification of trademarks in Vietnam
As mentioned above, trademark registration in Vietnam relies on the NICE classification, and before filing the file with the NOIP, one should know that this system is made of 45 classes – 34 of them designate goods, while the other 11 are intended for the classification of services.
This is an important aspect to consider as the trademark registration fee in Vietnam is calculated based on the class of goods or services pointed in the application form. It is also worth noting that one can choose to register the desired mark for several classes in order to ensure better protection. The fees will be calculated in accordance with the number of classes selected.
Our specialists can offer more information on the NICE classification and help you choose the right class or classes for your mark.
If you want to open a company in Vietnam, we are at your service. Furthermore, you are also welcome to hire our accountants in Vietnam for carrying out accounting-related tasks in your company. A corporate organization that receives an enterprise registration certificate is mandated by the existing laws and customs to establish and maintain an accounting system. It should comply with the standards of Vietnamese Accounting Standards and the Vietnamese Accounting System for Enterprises.
Trademark registration requirements in Vietnam
In order to register a trademark in Vietnam an individual or company must first make sure their mark is unique and that is clearly distinguishes the goods or services from the ones of other parties. Trademarks in Vietnam can be made of the following elements:
Any combination of these is also permitted by the National Office of Intellectual Property.
There are several types of trademarks that can be registered in Vietnam based on how they are classified. The Intellectual Property Law in Vietnam acknowledges single-class and multi-class trademarks.
Searching a trademark before filing for application
Verifying a trademark before registration has become a custom among applicants, as compared to several years ago, the number of applications has increased substantially. The check can be completed online with the Intellectual Property Office and can be performed by our agents in order to make sure our clients will not encounter any difficulties along the acknowledgment process.
Should you want to register a trademark in Vietnam and need assistance, our local consultants are at your disposal with various services. We can also help you open a company in Vietnam, so do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance in complex matters.
Methods of applying for trademark registration in Vietnam
There are two ways of applying for registering a trademark in Vietnam: by filing the documents in paper format or online. In the past few years, however, the second method has increased in popularity thanks to the easiness of submission and skipping a trip to the Intellectual Property Office.
The procedures are the same in terms of documents and can be completed in person or by appointing a proxy through a power of attorney. The latter option is often employed by businesspersons and companies who do not have the time to deal with all administrative matters resulting from this action.
Our company formation specialists in Vietnam are at the service of those who want to have their trading names or other types of intellectual property rights registered as trademarks here. Not only can we file the registration dossier, but we can also keep track of all the steps of this process so that beneficiaries do not have to keep checking the status of the applications.
Thanks to the possibility of registering a Vietnamese trademark online, the procedure can be completed in approximately one month (here, one should also include the verification of the availability of the mark to be registered and drafting the paperwork that proves the originality of the name, product, or other assets a person or company wants to have recognized).
When it comes to the types of trademarks a company can register, if until recently trading names that helped businesses create their own brands were the most registered, now, logos, domain names in the case of online businesses, and product names have also become part of the branding process enterprises go through, considering the increasing competition between companies.
We are at the service of local and foreign entrepreneurs who want to start online businesses in Vietnam and need guidance in registering domain names for which they also want to apply for trademark registration with the purpose of marketing their products locally or internationally.
The procedure of registering a trademark in Vietnam
Both local and foreign companies and individuals are allowed to register trademarks in Vietnam following the process explained below:
- filing the trademark registration documents;
- the examination of the trademark by NOIP;
- the publication of the trademark in the Official Gazette;
- the substantive examination.
With respect to the documents related to trademark registration with the NOIP, these are:
- the name of the applicant;
- a clear description of the trademark;
- information on the goods or services to be represented by the trademark;
- 5 prints of the trademark;
- a power of attorney, if the owner of the trademark will designate a third party to carry out the registration process.
Examination of a trademark before registration in Vietnam
The Vietnamese Intellectual Property Office completes a two-phase examination procedure before issuing the trademark registration certificate.
The first one is the formal examination during which the officers verify if the application file is complete, the trademark respects all the legal requirements and the owner has filed all the documents for registration and if the due diligence checks out, the Office will issue a Notice of Acceptance that will take the procedure to the second evaluation phase.
The substantive examination consists in the publication of the trademark with the Official Gazette where it will remain for oppositions and objections to be filed in case third parties consider their rights have not been respected. The substantive examination phase is the longest and after its completion, NOIP will issue the registration certificate.
Because of the lengthy procedure, if you are interested in trademark registration in Vietnam, we advise you use professional services in order to obtain the certificate of registration in due time.
Foreigners registering trademarks in Vietnam
As a foreigner, you do not need to go through a special procedure if you want to register a trademark in Vietnam. The documentation to be prepared is the same as for Vietnamese citizens and companies, however, you will need to consider having them translated into Vietnamese and authenticated.
If you have already registered a trademark in your country of origin, you can have it recognized here with the Vietnam Intellectual Property Office. However, as a foreigner, you will need a local representative to file the application on your behalf. You can grant our agents a power of attorney so that they can act on your behalf.
Vietnam has one of the fastest trademark registration procedures in Asia, depending on the type of mark submitted for approval. This is why, foreign investors interested in doing business here, or even foreign companies expanding their operations through branch offices can enjoy this benefit that will contribute to having their brands recognized here faster than in other countries.
Renewal of a trademark registration certificate in Vietnam
A trademark has a validity of 10 years with the possibility of extension for another 10 years. The renewal application must be submitted 6 months before the expiry date, however, it is also allowed to renew 6 months after its expiry. Vietnam does not impose limitations on the number of times trademarks can be renewed.
An important aspect to consider is that if not used for more than 5 years, the trademark will be assigned to another entity if a request in this sense is filed by a third party. We advise clients to use our trademark renewal services in Vietnam, especially if they have successfully used the marks they have registered here.
We are also at the service of those who want to have their Vietnamese trademarks recognized at an international level.
Trademark registration timeline in Vietnam
Here are the main aspects to consider about trademark registration in Vietnam and the timeframe associated with the procedure:
- the formal examination of the application file is completed in one month;
- during months 3 to 9 the trademark will be published for the substantive examination;
- after all the formalities have been concluded, the NOIP will issue the certificate of registration within 10 days;
- the entire registration procedure can take between 12 and 15 months;
- the validity of a Vietnamese trademark is 10 years and can be renewed.
For full information on how to register a trademark in Vietnam, please contact us. We can also assist with the company registration process in Vietnam.