1. Understanding the Renewal Timeline

In Vietnam, a vibrant trademark signifies your brand's unique identity in the marketplace. Just like any valuable asset, your trademark requires ongoing protection to maintain its legal force and prevent others from using it without your permission. This section delves into the crucial renewal timeline associated with Vietnamese trademarks, ensuring you don't face any gaps in protection.

The Power of Ten: Trademark Validity Period

Upon successful registration, your Vietnamese trademark enjoys a validity period of ten years. This grants you exclusive rights to use the trademark within Vietnam for the specified goods or services associated with your registration.

Planning for Renewal: Proactive Approach is Key

While your trademark boasts a ten-year lifespan, it's essential to be proactive about renewal. Ideally, you should initiate the renewal process within six months before the expiry date of your current registration. This proactive approach ensures a seamless transition, preventing any lapse in your trademark protection.

Grace Period: A Safety Net for Unforeseen Delays

Life can get busy, and sometimes deadlines slip our minds. Understanding the renewal timeline becomes even more crucial if you unintentionally miss the ideal six-month window. Thankfully, Vietnam's intellectual property framework offers a six-month grace period following the expiry date of your trademark registration. This grace period allows you to still file for renewal and maintain continuous protection for your brand.

Important Note: Late Renewal Surcharge Applies

While the grace period provides a safety net, it's important to remember that filing for renewal during this time incurs a late renewal surcharge. This additional fee serves as a penalty for missing the ideal window. To avoid unnecessary expenses, it's always recommended to initiate the renewal process well before the expiry date.

By understanding the renewal timeline and adopting a proactive approach, you can effectively safeguard your trademark's validity in Vietnam. The next section will delve into the steps involved in the renewal process, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate it smoothly.

 

2. Preparing for Renewal

Renewing your Vietnamese trademark involves some administrative steps, but with the right preparation, you can navigate the process efficiently. This section focuses on the essential documents you'll need to gather before submitting your renewal application.

1. The Proof of Ownership: Original Trademark Registration Certificate

Consider your original trademark registration certificate your shield and your sword. This document serves as concrete proof that you are the rightful owner of the trademark you wish to renew. Ensure you have the original certificate readily available when preparing your renewal application.

2. Delegation of Authority (Optional): Power of Attorney

If you're delegating the renewal process to a trusted representative, such as a lawyer specializing in intellectual property (IP), you'll need a power of attorney. This legal document formally authorizes your representative to act on your behalf during the renewal process.

3. The Application Blueprint: Renewal Application Form

The official renewal application form serves as the roadmap for your renewal request. You can obtain this form from the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) website or directly from their office.

Important Note: Accuracy is Paramount

While these documents might seem straightforward, ensure you double-check all information for accuracy. Any discrepancies or missing information can lead to delays in processing your renewal application. Carefully review the details on your original registration certificate and ensure they are accurately reflected in your renewal application form.

Additional Tips for a Smooth Renewal:

  • Mark Your Calendar: Set a reminder on your calendar well before the expiry date to initiate the renewal process. This allows ample time for gathering documents and completing the application form.
  • Consider Making Copies: Create photocopies of your original registration certificate and any other relevant documents for your records. Having copies ensures you have backups in case the originals are misplaced during the process.

By gathering the necessary documents and following these tips, you'll be well-prepared to submit your renewal application and ensure the continued protection of your valuable trademark in Vietnam. The next section will guide you through the official renewal process itself.

 

3. The Renewal Process

With your documents assembled and your application form completed, you're ready to navigate the official trademark renewal process in Vietnam. This section outlines the key steps involved, empowering you to effectively secure your brand's continued legal protection.

1. Completing the Application Form:

The renewal application form acts as your official request to extend the validity of your trademark. Carefully fill out all sections of the form, ensuring the information precisely reflects your trademark details. Here are some key aspects to pay attention to:

  • Trademark Details: Accurately provide your trademark name, registration number, and the class(es) of goods or services it covers.
  • Ownership Information: Double-check that your ownership information, including your name or company name, is entered correctly.
  • Contact Details: Ensure your current contact information, including phone number and email address, is listed for any communication from the NOIP.

2. Submission and Fees:

Once you've completed the application form, it's time to submit it along with the required fees to the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP). Here's how you can submit your application:

  • Online Convenience: The NOIP website offers an online portal for submitting renewal applications and paying fees electronically. This is a convenient option for swift processing.
  • In-Person Submission: You can also visit the NOIP office in person to submit your application and pay the fees.

Important Note: Fee Payment Options

The specific fees associated with trademark renewal can vary depending on factors like the number of trademark classes involved. At the moment, here is the detailed fee structure for trademark renewal:

Fees and charges:
  • The official charge for renewal of protection titles: VND 100,000/ 01 group of goods or services;
  • Official charge for delayed renewal: renewal fee plus 10% for each month of delayed payment;
  • Fee for examination request for renewal of protection titles: VND 160,000/ 01 protection title;
  • Fee for protection title usage: VND 700,000/ 01 group of goods or services;
  • Fee for publication of the decision of the renewal of protection titles: VND 120,000/ 01 request;
  • Fee for recording decision of renewal or change of holders of protection titles into the National Register of Industrial Property: VND 120,000/ protection title.

3. Examination and Approval:

Upon receiving your application and fees, the NOIP will meticulously examine them. This examination process involves verifying the accuracy of the information, ensuring your trademark remains in good standing (no unresolved infringement issues), and confirming the payment of applicable fees.

Awaiting the Decision:

If everything is in order, the NOIP will issue a renewal decision. This decision formally extends the validity period of your trademark for another ten years. The NOIP will also update the trademark register to reflect the renewed status of your trademark.

Congratulations! By following these steps, you've successfully renewed your Vietnamese trademark, safeguarding your brand identity and intellectual property rights for another ten years. The next section will explore some additional considerations to keep in mind for a smooth renewal process.

 

4. Additional Considerations

While the core renewal process for Vietnamese trademarks is straightforward, some additional considerations can further streamline your experience and address specific situations.

A. Seeking Legal Expertise:

  • Complex Trademark Portfolio: If you manage a vast portfolio of trademarks, consulting a Vietnamese IP lawyer can be beneficial. Their expertise can help you navigate the renewal process efficiently and ensure all your trademarks are protected without missing any deadlines.
  • Potential Infringement Concerns: If you suspect an infringement of your trademark, an IP lawyer can advise on legal enforcement strategies and ensure your renewal strengthens your rights. A renewed trademark can serve as stronger evidence in potential infringement lawsuits.

B. Foreign Applicants:

The core renewal process remains similar for foreign applicants. However, you might encounter additional requirements:

  • Translated Documents: Ensure essential documents, like the application form and ownership evidence (originally issued by foreign authorities), are translated into Vietnamese by a certified translator.
  • Legalization/Apostille: Documents issued by foreign authorities might require legalization/apostille (special certification) to be valid in Vietnam. Consult the NOIP or a Vietnamese embassy/consulate in your home country for specific requirements.

Remember: Consulting with the NOIP or a Vietnamese IP lawyer can provide specific guidance tailored to your situation as a foreign applicant.

C. Record Keeping for Future Renewals:

  • Maintain a Renewal File: Develop a system for organizing and storing your trademark registration certificate, renewal decisions, and any receipts associated with the renewal process. This ensures easy access to critical documents for future renewals.
  • Calendar Reminders: Set calendar reminders well in advance of the next renewal deadline (ten years from your current renewal date) to initiate the process proactively.

By considering these additional points, you can approach your Vietnamese trademark renewal with confidence, ensuring your brand's legal protection for years to come. Remember, a renewed trademark empowers you to continue building brand reputation and market share with peace of mind.

 

5. Conclusion

In Vietnam's dynamic marketplace, a robust trademark serves as a cornerstone of your brand identity. It fosters customer recognition, fosters trust, and sets you apart from competitors. However, trademark protection doesn't last forever. This guide has equipped you with the knowledge and steps to navigate the Vietnamese trademark renewal process effectively.

By understanding the renewal timeline, meticulously preparing the required documents, and following the official submission process, you can ensure seamless renewal and uninterrupted trademark protection for your brand. Remember, the additional considerations outlined here, such as seeking legal guidance for complex situations or maintaining a renewal file for future reference, can further streamline your experience.

Renewing your Vietnamese trademark is a strategic investment in your brand's future. By taking a proactive approach, you safeguard your intellectual property rights, empower yourself to enforce against infringement, and pave the way for continued success in the Vietnamese market. So, take action today, renew your trademark, and secure your brand legacy for the next ten years and beyond.

If you need further explanation on this subject, please don't hesitate to contact us through email at lienhe@luatminhkhue.vn or phone at: +84986 386 648—lawyer To Thi Phuong Dzung