A TRADEMARK  is a sign or word 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. (Trademark Act)

BENEFITS OF TRADEMARK REGISTRATION

  1. You are legally own the mark.
  2. You can pursue legal action against infringers.
  3. Your trademark will appear in searches locally, regionally, and internally.
  4. Prevent against imported goods with similar confusing mark.
  5. Easier path to international rights.

Choose a mark (figurative or word) that is distinctive for your product. You can do it by yourself or consult the trademark section at VanIPO for assistance.

5 Categories of Distinctiveness

Generic Mark Descriptive Mark Suggestive Mark Arbitrary Mark Fanciful Mark
A common term that fails to distinguish one product source from another. Words that reflect the nature, quality, or contents of a product. A word or phrase that hints at a product attribute. A common word used in an unrelated context. Wholly invented sign, symbol, word, or phrase.
Water, elevator, aspirin, beer
Not protectable Protectable only with Secondary meaning Generally protectable Almost always protectable Most Protectable
  • Do not choose a term that is considered generic as your trademark. For example, Coconut Virgin Oil or Manaro Virgin Oil. Generic terms are not protectable.
  • You may choose a descriptive mark. But the rule is that descriptive marks, geographic terms, and personal names must have an established secondary meaning in consumers' minds in order for approval to be granted.
  • You can have suggestive and arbitrary marks. They are considered inherently distinctive with their eligibility being determined by whoever is first to register or first to use.
  • We recommend people to come up with fanciful marks. A fanciful mark is the strongest protectable marks.

Application of a trademark must be completed using the official Trademark Application Form (attached). The Form must be filled correctly using the Nice Classification System (NSC) to provide description of the relevant Class applied to the trademark to be registered. Furthermore, it is a requirement that international applications must have a local (law firm) agent in Vanuatu.

Two examination processes are applied upon receipt of the application. Note that the date of filing will be the registration date. Should the application satisfy the requirements of the examinations, it will proceed to be published in the Official Gazette within 28 days after the application is filed. You will be notified of this publication stage. If there is no opposition made on the application after 28 days, the application will be officially registered as a trademark. A certificate will be sent to the local agent. Protection of a trademark is 10 years in which it may be renewed upon the request of the applicant.

Fees:

The overall fee is USD 250.00 or Vt25, 000 per trademark covering one class. If the trademark is to be used in more than one class (beit goods or services or both), the additional classes will cost USD 50.00 or Vt5000 per class (attached is the classification or more appropriate to use the online NCS on http://web2.wipo.int.). Fees in Cheques can be accepted nationally and/or can be made directly to the Vanuatu government USD account (details attached).

Requirements:

  • Cover letter
  • Complete application (S 16 App. Form)
  • Sample of trademark
  • Power of Attorney
  • Receipt of payment (confirmation of payment made to the account)

TYPES OF SERVICES

PROCESSES

DURATION (WORKING DAYS)

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

DOCUMENT ISSUED

FEES ( VATU or USD)

New Registration

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 16)

*Cover letter

*Power Of Attorney

*Payment receipt

-Registration certificate (10 years protection)

-Registration details

15,000 VT or

150.00 USD for Filing Fee

35,000 VT or 350.00USD for Registration Fee

(excluding additional classes)

Formality examination

1 week

Substantive examination

1 week

Publication

1 week

Opposition time

28 days

New registration with Priority convention date

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 17)

*copy of application from convention country

*Cover letter

*Power Of Attorney

*Payment receipt

 

-Registration certificate (10 years protection)

-Registration details

25,000 VT or

250.00 USD

 

10,000 VT or

100.00 USD

Formality examination

1 week

Substantive examination

1 week

Publication

1 week

Opposition time

28 days

New registration of collective trademark

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 87)

*Cover letter

*Power Of Attorney

*Payment receipt

-Registration certificate (10 years protection)

-Registration details

25,000 VT or

250.00 USD

 

Formality examination

1 week

Substantive examination

1 week

Publication

1 week

Opposition time

28 days

Renewal

Receive/filed

2 days

*Renewal application form (section 48)

*Cover Letter

*Payment receipt

Renewal certificate (10 years protection)

25,000 VT or

250.00 USD

Renewal recorded

1 day

Assignment

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 67)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

*Power of Attorney

Notification of assignment

10,000 VT or

100.00 USD

Assignment recorded

 1 day

Publication

1 week

Change of name

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 103)

*cover letter

*Payment receipt

Notification for change of name

5000 VT or

50.00 USD

Changes recorded

2 days

Change of address

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 102)

*cover letter

*Payment receipt

Notification for change of address

5000 VT or

50.00 USD

Changes recorded

2 days

Notice of opposition

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 30)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

 

Registrars decision or

Court decision

 

30,000 VT or

300.00 USD

Application processed

 

1 month

Application of amendment before publication

 

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 38)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Confirmation letter

5,000 VT or

50.00 USD

Changes updated

1 week

Application of amendment after publication

 

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 40)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Confirmation letter

10,000 VT or

100.00 USD

Changes updated

1 week

Application for other amendments

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 41)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Confirmation letter

5,000 VT or

50.00 USD

Changes updated

1 week

Inspection/

Search

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 97)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Search result

2,500 VT or

25.00 USD

Inspected

3 days

Certified Copy

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 98)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Certified copy issued

2,500 VT or

25.00 USD

Processed

3 days

Claims of interest on registered trademark

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 70)

*Power of Attorney

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Registrars decision

10,000 VT or

100.00 USD

Processed

1 month

Claims of interest on unregistered trademark

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 72)

*Power of Attorney

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Registrars decision

5000 VT or

50.00 USD

Processed

1 month

Cancelation of registration

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 53)

*Power of Attorney

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Registrars decision

10,000 VT or

100.00 USD

Processed

2 weeks

Removal of trademark

Receive/filed

2 days

*Application form (section 59)

*Cover letter

*Payment receipt

Confirmation letter

25,000 VT or

250.00 USD

Processed

1 week