What is a trademark?
Trademark is an internationally standardized term. The laws of most countries in the world define a mark based on the specific conditions and circumstances of that country, so there are also different points. As the following developed country, Vietnamese legislators have absorbed the experiences of developed countries to come up with a more general and inclusive concept:
“A sign used to distinguish goods and services of different organizations and individuals”. – According to the provisions of Clause 16, Article 4 of the Law on Intellectual Property of Vietnam 2005, as amended by Clause 2, Article 1 of the Law on Intellectual Property, amended in 2009.
Conditions for trademarks to be protected
Trademarks are protected if the following conditions are met:
- A visible sign in the form of letters, words, drawings, images, including holograms or a combination of such elements, represented by one or more colors;
- Having the ability to distinguish the goods and services of the mark owner from those of other subjects.
The following signs are not protected as trademarks:
- Signs identical or confusingly similar to national flags and emblems of other countries;
- Signs identical or confusingly similar to symbols, flags, badges, abbreviations, and full names of state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, or major organizations socio-professional management, social organizations, socio-professional organizations of Vietnam and international organizations, without the permission of such agency or organization;
- Signs identical or confusingly similar to real names, nicknames, pseudonyms, images of leaders, national heroes, celebrities of Vietnam or abroad;
- Signs are identical or confusingly similar to certification marks, inspection marks, or warranty marks of an international organization that such organization requests may not be used unless this organization has registered it themselves;
- Signs that mislead, confuse or deceive consumers about the origin, features, uses, quality, value, or other characteristics of goods or services.
The practical significance of trademark protection
The fact that a person or an organization has invested a lot of effort and money to create an industrial property object but it is used, appropriated, or registered by others, will not be protected by law because it is not protected by law. register the rights for that object. When a trademark has been protected by law, the owner has the exclusive right to exploit commercial benefits from his trademark during the protection period such as:
- Affix the protected mark on goods, goods packaging, means of business, means of service, transaction papers in business activities;
- Circulating, offering for sale, advertising for the sale, stocking for sale of goods bearing the protected mark;
- Import of goods and services bearing the protected mark.
Concerning a protected trademark, any subject who uses that mark without the consent of the trademark owner is an infringement and will be handled according to the law.
In addition, registering a trademark helps a business prevent a competitor from using the mark to confuse or profit from the registered trademark. In case an enterprise still intentionally trades potentially misleading products, it can initiate a lawsuit to claim compensation.
One of the competitive advantages in today’s developed economy is that businesses can build their brands. The registration of Trademark protection for businesses, besides promoting brand promotion activities of enterprises, creating trust in relationships with customers, businesses also have a legal basis to protect the interests of enterprises. against any unauthorized use of that trademark.
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