A trademark is available for registration if it (i) is distinctive for the goods or services which the mark is applied for, and (ii) is not deceptive, or contrary to morality and public order.
Detailed regulations on the distinctiveness of a trademark are provided by Articles 74 of the Intellectual Property Law.
Besides regulations on unregistration of marks that are contrary to public order, morality or prevailing law under the civil code, Article 73 of the Intellectual Property Law stipulates signs cannot be used as trademarks as follows:
- Those identical with or confusingly similar to the national flags, national emblems;
- Those identical with or confusingly similar to emblems, flags, armorial bearings, abbreviations, full names of State agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, socio-political professional organizations, social organizations or socio-professional organizations of Vietnam or international organizations, unless permitted by such agencies or organizations;
- Those identical with or confusingly similar to real names, alias, pen names or images of leaders, national heroes or famous persons of Vietnam or foreign countries;
- Those identical with or confusingly similar to certification seals, control seals, warranty seals of international organizations which require that their signs must not be used, except where such seals are registered as certification marks by those organizations;
- Those liable to mislead, confuse or deceive consumers as to the origin, functional parameters, intended purposes, quality, value or other characteristics of the goods or services.