Vietnam: important changes to the Intellectual Property Law regarding trademarks

Soon into force a transparent and effective trademark regulation procedure in this emerging territory 30 September 2022

On January 1, 2023, different important amendments to the Vietnamese Trademark Intellectual Property Law will come into force. These amendments (some innovative, others consistent with existing regulations in most of the Countries worldwide) seem to be particularly significant in light of the growing strategic importance of this emerging territory.

The key points of the new Law are as follows:

  1. the protection of sound marks is officially recognized;
  2. the criteria for affirming the reputation of a trademark are modified;
  3. the time-window for considering an expired earlier trademark invalid is reduced (from five to three years);
  4. it will be possible to request the cancellation of earlier registered trademarks by requesting the provisional suspension of the examination of the trademark application;
  5. bad faith is provided for the first time as a legal basis for oppositions, invalidation proceedings and refusal measures; 
  6. the possibility to file an opposition to a trademark application within five months of publication is introduced;
  7. the definition of 'other signs' that cannot be protected as trademarks is specified (for example, the registrability of the national anthem is excluded, precisely because of the new possibility to file sound marks);
  8. the grounds for termination or invalidation of trademarks are supplemented (e.g., when the protected trademark becomes the common name for the goods or services for which the trademark was obtained);
  9. the provisions on appeal proceedings are supplemented;
  10. the provisions on the effective date of International Registration under the Madrid system are supplemented.

It is therefore with pleasure that the wait for a transparent and effective trademark registration procedure in Vietnam can be considered almost over.

We will keep you updated on any news on this matter.


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