This Circular amended the regulations on criteria for identifying geographical names and indicators of geographical origins of products. Accordingly, Geographical names or local symbols meant to indicate the geographical origin products in the following cases: they are used for local specialties; they are used for local plants, animals, and products thereof; they are used for local products of mineral extraction...

Criteria for identifying geographical names and indicators of geographical origins

The Ministry of Science and Technology issued the Circular No. 05/2013/TT-BKHCN dated February 20, 2013, amending the Circular No. 01/2007/TT-BKHCN dated February 14, 2007 of the Ministry of Science and Technology guiding the implementation of the Decree No. 103/2006/ ND-CP dated September 22, 2006 of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on intellectual property regarding industrial property, amended in accordance with the Circular No. 13/2010/TT-BKHCN dated July 30, 2012 and the Circular No. 18/2011/TT-BKHCN dated July 22, 2011.

This Circular amended the regulations on criteria for identifying geographical names and indicators of geographical origins of products. Accordingly, Geographical names or local symbols meant to indicate the geographical origin products in the following cases: they are used for local specialties; they are used for local plants, animals, and products thereof; they are used for local products of mineral extraction...

Geographical names and local symbols are not meant to indicate the geographical origin of products in the following cases: they are used as a usual trademark and widely recognized; The corresponding geographical area is not the place where the products are made; The geographical names and local symbols that are not meant to indicate geographical origin of products may be protected as a usual trademark without permission of local governments.

The common geographical names and local symbols (such as names of provinces, cities, attractions) used for ordinary products of a locality, used by local traders for their goods and services, and meant to indicate the origin shall not be protected. However, a geographical name or local symbol may be used as a secondary constituent of an ordinary trademark of a corresponding local trader, as long as such geographical name is removed from protection, and exempt from obtaining permission of the local government.

This Circular takes effect on April 06, 2013.

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