Vanuatu Islands Intellectual Property & Trademark service
In Vanuatu, the legal basis of trademark law is the Vanuatu Trademarks Act 2003 (“VTA 2003”) which entered into force on February 8, 2011.
A trade mark is defined in section 9 as “A trademark is a sign used, or intended to be used, to distinguish goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by a person from goods or services dealt with or provided in the course of trade by another person.”
A sign is defined in the interpretation to include a letter, word, name, signature, numeral, device, brand, heading, label, ticket, aspect of packaging, shape, colour, sound or scent, or any combination of these.
A trademark may be registered for goods, services, or both goods and services. A trademark application cannot cover a series of marks.
How to register trademark in Vanuatu
- Complete the application with the Registrar of Trademarks, located at the Vanuatu Intellectual Property Office (VIPO). For foreign applicants, you will need to have a local address for service, we can represent as an approved agent for you.
- Carry out a search before applying to the register trademark to find out whether your trademark is already being used or has been registered.
- The goods/services shall be clearly and correctly listed under the Nice Classification for the International Registration of Goods and Services.
- The application process includes a formal examination by the Registrar, as well as an examination on absolute and relative grounds.
- The Registrar will consider whether the trademark may be registered in accordance with the terms of the VTA 2003. The application will also be examined for distinctiveness of the trademark. The Registrar will reject applications if the trademark consists of scandalous matter, its use is contrary to law, the trademark is likely to deceive or cause confusion, or the trademark is substantially identical with a trademark already registered or applied for.
- Trademark applications accepted by the Registrar are published in the official gazette prior to registration. The opposition period is 28 days from details being published in the Gazette.
- If there is no opposition or you win against them, the Registrar will issue a Certificate of Registration.
Renew of Vanuatu trademark registration
- The trademark registration is valid for 10 years after the filing date of the application for its registration. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years. The grace period for renewals is 3 months from the expiration date of the trademark.