I detect that there is a trademark filed in Vietnam that is similar to my Vietnamese granted trademark. If I request an opposition to the grant of a trademark on that trademark application, is there a time limit?
Yes. According to Article 112a. 1 of the Intellectual Property Law 2022, effective from January 1, 2023, the time limit for filing an opposition against a trademark application is limited as follows:
“1. Before the date of issuance of the protection title, within the following time limits, any third party is entitled to raise objections against the issuance of the protection title:
a) 9 months from the publication date of the patent application;
b) 4 months from the publication date of the industrial design application;
c) 5 months from the publication date of the trademark application;
d) Three months from the publication date of the geographical indication application.”
According to the above regulations, it is needed to check whether the trademark application to be opposed has been published or not in the Official Gazette of the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IPVN) to calculate the deadline for filing an opposition. In case an opposition is still available, a request of opposition can be filed to the IPVN for examination.
However, the opposition cannot be submitted if the deadline expires. Instead, an opposed opinion can still be received by IPVN as a third person’s opinion on the grant of a protection title (Article 112 of the Intellectual Property Law 2022), in detail:
“Article 112. Third party opinions on the grant of protection titles
As from the date an application for registration of industrial property is published in the Official Gazette of Industrial Property up until prior to the date of issuance of a decision on grant of a protection title, any third party shall have the right to express an opinion to the competent State administrative body for industrial property rights on the grant or refusal to grant a protection title for such application. Such opinions must be made in writing and be accompanied by documents or must quote the source of information.
The written opinion shall be considered one of the reference sources during the processing of the application for industrial property registration.”
Accordingly, as long as the trademark application to be opposed has not yet had a decision to grant a protection title, your opinion on the grant or refusal to grant a protection title for such application can be filed. However, it is noted that this opinion is only a source of reference information for the examination process of trademark application, which means that IPVN is not responsible for examining your opinion as it would for the opposition.