What is a trademark? What kind of marks are areregistrable in Vietnam?

Under Vietnam trademark law, “trademarks are symbols which are used to distinguish goods/services of the same kinds of different manufacturing and commercial establishments. A trademark may be in the form of words, images, or a combination of these elements and is manifested in one or more colors.” Trademarks include service marks, associated marks and collective marks.

Registrable marks must be distinctive. Indistinctive marks include, but not limited to:

i) simple geometrical shapes, numerical figures, alphabetical letters, letters that cannot pronounced as a word or letter of foreign languages that are not commonly used;

ii) marks which indicate time, place, origin, quality, nature, purpose, etc. of the goods/services in question.

However, it is possible to secure registration of an inherently indistinctive mark by proving it has become distinctive of the applicant’s goods/services through use in commerce (i.e. secondary meaning)