This is a very positive step by the Government to help companies protect their registered names and trademarks. Vietnam’s intellectual property laws are good, but have little bite. Enforcement has been challenging. This is a good start.

Infringing actions in this case is defined to include all actions taken by the infringer including use of the name on products, distribution channels, labelling, legal documents, etc. To that extent, the infringer may be required by the authorities not only to change/amend its name but also to change its business lines or scope of business as previously permitted in its licence. Thus, the consequences are potentially very severe.

The infringer has a period of 2 months from the date of the notice from the business registration authority to take the appropriate actions. If no actions are taken, including several additional opportunities to take remedial measures as set out in the law, the licence will be withdrawn after 6 months.

The law will become valid on 20 May 2016.

Inter-ministerial Circular 05/2016/TTLT-BKHCN-BKHDT dated 5 April