Examination by National Trademark Offices as designated Contracting Party in Vietnam

Each designated contracting party has the right to accept or refuse the
protection of the international registration in its territory. In those countries where the trademark law is characterized by the substantive examination, like Japan and Vietnam, an international application of trademark will be subject for the substantive examination under the national law and regulations similar to that applied to the trademark applications filed directly.

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Examination by International Bureau

The International Bureau (IB) of the WIPO is the body to administer the Madrid system. It is responsible for international registration and related duties as well as all other administrative tasks, under or concerning the international registration of trademark under Madrid Agreement and/or Madrid Protocol.

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Comparative analysis on the current situation of using Madrid system in Vietnam

Factors associated with the Madrid system

– Precondition of the international trademark application under Madrid Agreement:

One of the basic requirements for filing an international application of trademark under Madrid Agreement is having a mark registered in the country of origin. The tiring wait for examination process in the country of origin until trademark registration somehow discourages the applicant’s desire to extent the protection of trademark worldwide. Besides, under Madrid Agreement, the trademark holder seems not to have any chances to claim priority date under Paris Convention as the examination time for a domestic trademark application is always longer than 6 months.

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Advantage and Disadvantage of the Madrid System

1. Advantages

International registration of trademark under Madrid system has advantages for both the trademark owners and trademark offices. The main advantages for trademark owners consist of the simplicity of the international registration system and the financial savings made when obtaining and maintaining the protection of their trademark abroad. The trademark owner need only file a single application in one language and pay fees in one currency to one office, and the registration may be renewed every ten years in a single transaction, recordal of change may be dealt with in a single transaction. It may allow businesses to remain competitive in the international market place without having to spend much time and money filing and following up separate trademark applications in different countries. The filing fees, translation expenses, renewal fees, recordal and changes, assignment and local legal fees, therefore, may be reduced and/or omitted. Besides, the holder of an international registration does not have to wait indefinitely to find out if its mark will be registered in the Contracting Parties it designated, but knows that if there is no refusal or notification of refusal within the applicable time limit (within 12 or 18 months), the mark is protected, saying: “NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS”.

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Filing international application of trademark

An international application of trademark should be present by the applicant or his authorized representative to the International Bureau through the Office of Origin. If the application is presented directly to the International Bureau, it will not be considered as such and will be returned to the sender.

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Minimum requirements of an International application

1. Applicants

An applicant for international registration of trademark under Madrid System should be a natural person or a legal entity which has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in, or is domiciled in, or is a national of, a country which is party to the Madrid Agreement or the Madrid Protocol, or who has such an establishment in, or is domiciled in, the territory of an intergovernmental organization which is a party to the Protocol, or is a national of a Member State of such an organization.

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General Information about MADRID SYSTEM

The registration of trademark abroad may be achieved through national route by filing a trademark application at the local trademark office in individual country where the business exports its goods/services into or through Madrid system by filing an international trademark application.

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The recent years show significant efforts for integration into the world economy of the Vietnam Government, especially in the intellectual property field. Along with negotiation round to be the WTO 150th member, the commencement of the Law on Intellectual Property, accession into the Madrid Protocol in relation to international registration of trademark mark a step forward in the Vietnam Intellectual Property development.

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