Answer ... In principle, no unregistered trademark is protected, unless it has been become well known in Vietnam.
The use of a mark in a way that causes confusion with a commercial indication (including an unregistered mark) in respect of business entities, business activities or the commercial origin of goods or services is in practice viewed as a type of likelihood of confusion, but it is governed by the anti-unfair competition regime under the IP Law (Section 130).
Answer ... In accordance with the first to file principle, Article 6 of the IP Law provides that trademarks shall be generated and established only based on:
- a decision of the competent state body to grant a protection title; or
- the recognition of international registration pursuant to an international treaty to which Vietnam is a signatory.
For that reason, the rights afforded to a mark by a particular registration certificate will establish the scope of protection enjoyed by the registrant.
As provided by the IP Law, a trademark owner has the following rights:
- to use or permit others to use the registered trademark;
- to prohibit others from using the registered trademark; and
- to dispose of the registered trademark.
Answer ... There is no separate register for descriptive marks. Descriptive marks are usually refused protection unless they have acquired distinctiveness (secondary meaning) through use in commerce.