Registering a trademark in Vanuatu is a process that involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by the VFSC, and waiting for the publication and potential opposition period. If successful, the registration of your trademark will give you exclusive rights to use it in Vanuatu for 10 years, renewable indefinitely. By following this guide and using the resources provided, you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand in Vanuatu. Make sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process.
Step 1: Preliminary Search
The first step in the process is to conduct a preliminary search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar or identical to an existing one. As of 2021, Vanuatu does not have a specific government website for this task. However, you can hire a local attorney or use international databases to perform this search.
Step 2: Application
If the search does not reveal any conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC). The application must include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services to be covered by the trademark.
Step 3: Examination by VFSC
After receiving the application, the VFSC will examine it to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Trade Marks Act. The VFSC will also determine whether the trademark can be registered or if it infringes upon any existing trademarks.
Step 4: Publication
Once the application passes the examination, the VFSC will publish the application in the Official Gazette. This is to give third parties the opportunity to oppose the registration of the trademark. The opposition period lasts for 60 days from the date of publication.
Step 5: Registration
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is resolved in favor of the applicant, the VFSC will proceed with the registration of the trademark. The applicant will then receive a certificate of registration.
The official fee for filing a trademark application is approximately VT 15,000 (as of 2021). If the application is successful, there is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate. Please note that these fees are subject to change and it's recommended to check the latest fees on the VFSC website.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 12 to 18 months, provided that there are no objections or oppositions.
Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC): https://www.vfsc.vu/