The trademark search is the important foundation to determining the registrability of a trademark.
Why a trademark search?
As mentioned in the article ‘Trademark Registration in Vietnam’, it can take up to 1 year for the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam to finish processing a trademark registration application.
During said process, the application will be rejected if the proposed trademark is identical with or confusingly similar to an already registered trademark.
Meanwhile, a trademark search, which usually takes 5 to 7 days, enables enterprises to effectively evaluate the feasibility of a successful trademark registration, saving both time and costs.
There are two types of trademark search: a preliminary search and an advanced search.
This method helps enterprises to initially identify any identical or confusingly similar trademarks.
A preliminary search is conducted using the electronic databases of the NOIP and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The above databases only allow access to the basic information of a protected trademark, such as: the application number, name and color of the mark, list of goods and services bearing the mark, name of its owner, etc.
A preliminary search only shows trademarks that are identical or similar in terms of written characters, but this is not very effective in terms of visual composition.
Due to its low accuracy, preliminary search data cannot be used to make any comparisons or suggestions facilitating the trademark intended for application to be protected.
Advanced search (with corresponding controls)
There are 3 parts to a trademark registration application:
- Representation of the trademark.
- Characters of the trademark.
- And a description of characteristics of the trademark.
The advanced method allows intensive searching in all 3 of the abovementioned parts, delivering higher accuracy.
Results of an advanced search can help determine which part of the trademark intended for registration is identical or confusingly similar to that of other trademarks, which will be proposed for removal.
Furthermore, an advanced search can indicate whether there is a trademark infringement case by comparing the mark’s components.
Search results processed by trademark experts can effectively facilitate the evaluation of a trademark’s probability to be registered successfully as well as solutions for those with lower probability.
Notice: A trademark search is not a step in the registration process. Trademark searches only improve the chance of registrability.
Trademark search results are not official decisions of the NOIP and are for reference only.
M&A Vietnam does not guarantee a 100% success rate after the search due to limited databases and opinions of the NOIP’s trademark agents and specialists.