trademark

Determining whether a trademark is descriptive or suggestive in VietNam, Laos and Cambodia

Trademark registration can face many difficulties in determining whether a trademark is purely “descriptive” or merely “suggestive” because trademarks deemed to be purely “descriptive” will not be protected under law, but if the trademark is only “suggestive”, it can absolutely be protected. So, Determining whether a trademark is descriptive or suggestive in VietNam, Laos and Cambodia?

“Suggestive” signs or “descriptive” trademarks in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

A “suggestive” sign is a type of trademark that “suggests” or hints at a certain quality or characteristic of the goods/services it represents. A suggestive trademark implies but does not directly describe the quality or characteristic of the product or service provided.

“Suggestive” signs can usually be registered as trademarks. Still, there are cases where a “suggestive” sign may be refused protection if it is too closely related to the product/service it represents. This is because a “suggestive” sign can be considered a descriptive term if the connection between it and the product or service it represents is easily recognizable.

The distinction between “suggestive” trademarks and “descriptive” trademarks in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

The distinction between “suggestive” trademarks and “descriptive” trademarks is quite subtle and subjective.

A “suggestive” trademark is a trademark that suggests or hints at the product or service it represents but requires consumers to use their imagination or perception to create an association between the trademark and the goods/services. 

Conversely, a “descriptive” trademark often directly describes the product or service it represents and does not require much imagination or thinking to establish a connection between the trademark and the goods/services.

Therefore, the key factor in determining whether a trademark is “suggestive” or “descriptive” depends on the degree of imagination required to understand the relationship between it and the product/service it represents. The more imagination or thought processing required to create a connection between the trademark and the goods/services, the more likely the trademark is considered “suggestive” rather than “descriptive”.

However, the boundary between the two types of trademarks is often quite subtle and trademark classification can depend on various factors such as industry standards, consumer perception, and the overall context in which the trademark is used.

Principles for examining trademarks in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

When assessing a trademark, it is important to consider the overall impression it creates when viewed broadly as a whole, rather than focusing solely on its individual components. 

Therefore, in the event of filing a trademark registration application in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and the trademark is considered more “descriptive” than “suggestive”, the applicant should emphasize the overall impression created by the trademark. 

This includes not just the individual elements of the trademark, but how those elements combine to create a unique impression. To strengthen the argument, the applicant should emphasize how the trademark creates a unique impression by providing evidence and arguments demonstrating how the trademark requires imagination or cognition from consumers to understand its relationship to the product/service it represents. 

By highlighting these factors, the applicant can build a strong case for why the trademark should be viewed as “suggestive” rather than “descriptive”, and therefore eligible for trademark protection in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia.

If you encounter any difficulties, you can fully authorize GreenIP to represent you. We will help you:

– Prepare the application form (including trademark description if you have not described it yet)

– Represent you in filing the application

– Monitor the examination process 

– Handle any issues that may arise

– Receive the registration certificate afterward and deliver it directly to the customer

In addition, you will enjoy many preferential policies at our company at the link: https://greenip.asia/what-we-do/

Above the article: “Determining whether a trademark is descriptive or suggestive in VietNam, Laos and Cambodia” by GreenIP. Should you or anyone you know need help with this, feel free to contact us at our email: info@greenip.asia
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