1. Definition of Invention/Utility Solution Inventions are technical solutions relating to a product or process which is to solve a…
Geographical indication is defined as a sign that are used to identify products as originating from a particularly area, locality or country.
2. Protection criteria
Geographical indications shall be protected if they meet the following conditions:
(i) Products bearing geographical indication geographically originate from the area, locality or country indicated by such geographical indications; and
(ii) Products bearing geographical indication have reputation, quality or characteristics that are essentially attributable to the geographical conditions of the area, locality or country indicated by the geographical indication.
3. The subject matters that can not be protected as geographical indication
The following subject matters shall not be protected as geographical indications:
(i) Designations, indications having become generic names of goods in Vietnam;
(ii) Geographical indications of a foreign country where it is not or no longer protected or no longer used;
(iii) Geographical indications identical with or similar to a mark having been protected if their use will cause confusion as to the origin of the products;
(iv) Geographical indications misleading consumers as to the true geographical origin of products bearing such geographical indications.
4. The right to file Geographical Indication application
The right to register geographical indications shall belong to the State of Vietnam. However, the State permits organizations manufacturing products bearing the geographical or their representative association or the local administrative authority to exercise the right.
5. Examination process of Geographical Indication Application
There are two steps of examination for applications for registration of geographical indications. The formality examination shall be conducted within one month from the filing date. Applications of geographical indications, after duly accepted regarding the formality, shall be published in IP Gazette within 02 months from the date of acceptance of application. The time limit for substantive examination is 6 months from the date of publication of the application.
6. Protection Term
A certificate of geographical indication registration shall have indefinite validity from the granting date.
7. Cancellation and Suspension of Certificate of Geographical Indication Registration
A certificate of geographical indication registration may be cancelled by any third party’s request, in the following cases:
(i) The owner has no right to file application for registration; or
(ii) The geographical indication under the certificate does not meet the protection criteria as stipulated.
A certificate of geographical indication registration may be suspended by any third party’s request, in the case that the geographical conditions attributable to the reputation, quality or characteristics of the product bearing a geographical indication have changed resulting in a loss of the reputation, quality or characteristics of the product.
Geographical indications can be protected not only by a system under the registration procedure as mentioned above but also by alternative legal tools of certification mark/collective mark and anti-unfair competition.