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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Dez 07, 2009 (Newsletter Issue 1/09)
Vietnam
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Official Fees Increased


On June 19th, 2009, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed the Law on amendment to a number of articles of the Law on Intellectual Property (Law 2009). Law 2009 will come into effect from January 1st 2010. There were several changes to copyright and related rights.

With regard to industrial property rights, the Law 2009 clarifies the "first to file" principle: In Law 2005, there was no clear guideline on what to do when one person submits more than one application for the same invention; or registers several marks that are identical or similar to the extent there might be confusion when they are used for identical or similar products or services. This matter is settled by Law 2009. Accordingly, if several registration applications are submitted by one person in order to register identical marks used for identical products or services, a protection title shall be granted based on the valid application with the earliest priority or filing date among the applications which satisfy all conditions for the grant of a protection title.

Law 2009 states that administrative penalties may be applied upon the occurrence of acts of infringement of intellectual property rights which cause damages to the author or the holder of intellectual property rights (or customers of the community); the notification to defaulting party is no longer required (Article 211.1.b).

To protect domestic providers of intellectual property representation, Law 2009 affirms that foreign law firms practicing in Vietnam are prohibited from providing these services. Law 2009 also requires more conditions applied to organizations providing intellectual property assessment services and individuals practicing intellectual property assessment (Article 154.1).