New decree widens protection afforded to trade names

Vietnam

The Vietnamese government has promulgated Decree 109/2004/BD-CP on the registration of businesses. It widens the protection afforded to trade names and supplements the provisions relating to trade names set out in Decree 54/2000/ND-CP of October 2000.

The rules on the protection afforded to trade names can be summarized as follows:

  • A trade name is the name identifying a business entity. To be protected, a trade name must consist of letters (and possibly digits) that are capable of (i) being pronounced by the public, and (ii) distinguishing the business entity to which it applies from other entities in the same field of business.

  • A trade name will not be protected if:

    • it is likely to be confused with an earlier trade name that has been used in the same area and the same field of business;

    • it is likely to be confused with an earlier protected trademark; or

    • it falls within certain excluded categories, such as names that are similar or identical to those of administrative agencies or political organizations.

  • A trade name will be protected without any obligation of registration, as long as the owner maintains business operations under it.

  • A trade name will be protected against use by a third party of the same or similar designation for identical or similar goods or services, to the extent that such use is likely to mislead the public.

Le Hoai Duong, LÊ & LÊ, Hanoi

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