Vietnam: Up against the system

By Tran Manh Hung, Tran Kieu Hoa and Tao Minh Hung

Limitations in Vietnamese laws on trademark use are creating a number of enforcement challenges for rights holders

A trademark holder has a fundamental right to use its trademark (Article 123.1(a) of the IP Law) – but also an obligation. Even in first-to-file jurisdictions, using trademarks is a requirement to maintain protection. This obligation is clearly set out in the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Article 5.C.1), as well as in Vietnam’s IP Law (Articles 95.1(d) and 136.2). Paragraph 2.390 of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) IP Handbook emphasises the absolute need to provide for a use obligation in trademark law by referring to unused trademarks as “an artificial barrier to the registration of new marks”.

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Issue 72