1. What is a trademark of clothing, footwear, headwear products

A trademark of clothing, footwear or headwear products is visible signs printed in the products, the signs can be in the form of letters, words, images, drawings or a combination of those elements, expressed in one color of many colors. A trademark is used to distinguish clothing, footwear, headwear products of this manufacturer, company, designer from other products in the market of other manufacturers, companies of designers.

Clothing, footwear or headwear products are classified in Class 25 according to the newest version of Nice Classification. In this article, we will introduce procedures to register a trademark for clothing, footwear or headwear and other products which belong to Class 25. Class 25 includes a group of products which are mainly clothing, footwear and headwear for human beings. This group also includes particular products as below:

- Clothing, shoes and hats parts, such as cuffs, pockets, ready-made linings, heels and heelpieces, cap peaks, hat frames (skeletons);

- Clothing and athletic shoes, such as ski gloves, sports shoes, cycling wears, judo and karate uniforms, soccer shoes, gym shoes, ski shoes;

- Masquerade costume;

- Paper clothes, paper hats for use as clothes;

- Bibs, not paper;

- Pocket square;

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- Footmuffs, not electrically heated.

The group does not include small items of hardware used in shoemaking; certain clothing, footwear and headwear for special use; electrically heated clothing; electrically heated footmuffs; bibs of paper; handkerchiefs of paper and of textile; clothing for animals; carnival masks; dolls' clothes and paper party hats.

2. Why should you register a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products

A trademark is the first sign that customers can distinguish which product is the product of company A, which is the product of company B. Every day on the streets or shopping centers of Vietnam, we can easily see there are numerous fashion products with brands originating from foreign countries as well as from Vietnamese manufacturers. When the customer can identify a trademark and want to buy products that attached a particular trademark, it means customers have been impressed by the trademark. In order to exclusively use that trademark in mass production, companies or individuals need to carry out the trademark registration procedures at the competent state agencies.

Especially in the field of fashion, the market is very competitive and companies always have to find ways to survive in this market. When customers trust and like products that attached a trademark of your company, if you have not registered trademark protection, competitors can easily copy, duplicate the products, or even register a similar trademark before your company and you will not be allowed to use the trademark anymore. This situation can cause huge damage to your company.

In order to be protected by competent state agencies and increase the profit of the business, you should carry out the procedure of trademark registration for your clothing, footwear, headwear products as soon as possible.

3. How to register a trademark of clothing, footwear, headwear products

3.1. Requirements of a trademark to be protected

Firstly, the trademark must be a visible sign in the form of texts, drawings, images, or a combination of those factors and indicated in one color or many colors.

Secondly, the trademark must have the ability to be distinguished from registered trademarks of other companies, organizations and individuals.

3.2. The application of trademark registration of clothing, footwear, headwear products

A dossier of application of trademark registration of clothing, footwear, headwear products should include the following documents:

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- 02 copies of Trademark registration declarations in accordance with the prescribed form;

- 05 Trademark Samples, each trademark sample shall be clearly presented with the size of 80mm x 80mm;

- List of the group of products that the trademark will be used for;

- Authorization letter (if the trademark owner applies through a representative);

- Certified Copy of Business Registration Certificate if the trademark owner is a company or certified Identity Card, Citizen Card, Passport if the trademark owner is an individual;

- Copies of fee and charge receipts (in case the applicant pays the fees and charges via postal services or directly transfer into accounts of the National Office of Intellectual Property).

4. Steps to register a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products

4.1. Step 1: Creating the trademark

The company will carry out the process of creating a unique trademark base on the idea and demand of the company as well as base on the requirements to register an exclusive trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products. The duration of this step is long or short depending on the request, requirements and ideas of the trademark owner.

4.2. Step 2: Searching the trademark

This step is not a compulsory process, but the searching trademark is a necessary step that needs to be carried out by any company or individual who wants to register a trademark. You can carry out the process by yourself or ask an industrial property representative as Minh Khue Law Firm to proceed. In this step, clients will provide us the trademark intended to register, Minh Khue Law Firm will carry out the search to check whether the trademark of the client is identical, similar or confusing with a registered trademark. There are two ways to search a trademark as below:

- Preliminary search: The preliminary search is normally very quick, it takes from few hours to 3 days to be done, depending on the complexity of the trademark and the group of products that use the trademark. However, this method of search has the disadvantage is the low accuracy rate, the result cannot be 100% accurate. If there is a trademark that has been published on the electronic database of the industrial property but has not been issued a certificate, there is will be a duplication trademark that cannot be checked by the premilinary search.

- Advanced search: The advanced search normally takes a longer time (from 3 days to 7 days) to get a result. In the advanced search process, experts in the intellectual property field will review and provide consultancy on the trademark. Although this method may take time, the accuracy rate will be much higher than the preliminary search (up to 98%). Thus, increasing the chance of successful registration. This method is usually recommended by Minh Khue Law Firm in order to avoid the case of rejection of the clients' applications.

4.3. Step 3: Submit the application

This is the first formal step in the process of registering a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products. The application of trademark registration can be submitted directly at the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) in Hanoi or through one of the two representative offices of NOIP in Da Nang City and Ho Chi Minh City. The process normally takes only one morning or afternoon.

Besides, the application can also be submitted via post or courier, the submitting time will be longer, depending on the delivery time of the post office.

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If clients apply for a trademark through Minh Khue Law Firm, we will carry out all the procedures for clients and directly submit the application to the competent state agency. Clients do not need to travel, nor need to directly submit.

4.4. Step 4: Appraise the form of the trademark registration application

The step of appraisal of the application form normally takes from 1 month to 2 months from the submission date.

During this period of time, the National Office of Intellectual Property will examine the application form and determine whether all the requirements in terms of the form of the application is satisfied or not. If the application is invalid, the NOIP will reject and return the application. On the other hand, the NOIP will issue a decision of valid application and the trademark information will be published in the Official Gazette within 02 months if all the requirements are met.

4.5. Step 5: Appraise the content of the trademark registration application

The step of appraisal of the application content takes from 9 months to 12 months from the date the trademark is published in the Official Gazette. This step is usually considered the longest period in the process of registering a trademark.

During this period of time, the competent state agency will evaluate the content of the trademark registration application and determine whether there is a similarity or confusion between the registering trademark and trademarks that have been registered and protected before. The NOIT also check whether the trademark satisfies all the conditions to be protected by the competent state agency. This step will prevent potential risk and dispute relating to the trademark in the future and is a basis for the issuance of a Trademark Registration Certificate. Therefore, the appraisal of the application content is the most important step in the whole process.

4.6. Step 6: Pay the fee and receive the protection title

This step normally takes about 1 month.

The applicant will pay the fee according to the notification of the National Office of Intellectual Property in order to be granted a Trademark Registration Certificate in accordance with the law. The NOIP will grant a Trademark Registration Certificate if all the fees were paid fully and properly.

5. Where to carry out the registration of a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products in Vietnam

According to the current provisions of Vietnamese intellectual property law, foreign companies or individuals who want to register a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products in Vietnam can only register through a licensed industrial property representation organizations.

Minh Khue Law Firm is an industrial property representation organization with high quality and reputation in Vietnam. Minh Khue Law Firm was licensed by the National Office of Intellectual Property in August 2017, with the representative code is 226, in order to carry all the procedure of registering a trademark in Vietnam for domestic as well as foreign companies, organization and individuals.

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You can contact and come directly to Minh Khue Law Firm for advice and guidance on implementing procedures of registration of trademarks for your clothing, footwear, headwear products.
The procedure is proceeded by the Intellectual Property Department of Minh Khue Law Firm, address at Room 2007, 20th Floor, C2 Building, Vincom Tran Duy Hung, Tran Duy Hung Street, Trung Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi.

The person in charge of the Intellectual Property Department of Minh Khue Law Firm:

Lawyer: To Thi Phuong Dzung Email: dung@luatminhkhue.vn ; Phone number: + 84986 386 648

The dossier will be submitted in: National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, address at: 384-386 Nguyen Trai street, Thanh Xuan Trung ward, Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi.

You can refer to some trademarks of clothing, footwear, headwear products that were registered by Minh Khue Law Firm:

Register a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products in Vietnam?
El Fénix Trademark
Class ​25: Belts [costume]; belt containing money [clothes]; leather clothes; gloves [costume]; shoe; [costume] outerwear.
Register a trademark for clothing, footwear, headwear products in Vietnam?
KIEU GIANG Trademark
Class 25: Clothes; suit; foot gear; headgear; scarf; dress.

6. Contact to register a trademark of clothing, footwear, headwear products

Please contact: Minh Khue Law Company Limited

Address: Room 2007, 20th Floor, C2 Building, Vincom Tran Duy Hung, Tran Duy Hung Street, Trung Hoa Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi.

Phone number: + 84 986 386 648 - Lawyer: To Thi Phuong Dzung

Email: dung@luatminhkhue.vn

Best Regards,

Intellectual Property Department - Minh Khue Law Company Limited

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