The mark “n03” of International application no.1027797 under the name of Number Three. Inc., (JP), designating Vietnam, for cosmetic products in Class 03 was temporarily rejected on the grounds that the mark consists of simple numbers and letters that are indistinctive.
Representing the applicant, Pham & Associates appealed against the above decision, arguing as follows:
- The applied-for mark “n0Ꝫ” is a combination of the letter “n” and numerals “03” or the letters “no” and numeral “3” in stylized form, in which the two side strokes of the letter “n” are curved in, that looks like the digit “0” is partially missing at the bottom. Following the stylized "n" is the "03" or "O3" also in stylized form. This is not a set of simple numerals, letters but a combination of stylized letters and/or numerals. This combination represents the company's business strategy, namely the numeral 3 is the name of the company [Number Three]. As a company specializing in skin and hair care cosmetic products, the company always considers regular customers and beauty salons top priority, business partners second, and the company third. From that strategy, the applicant uses the trade name as Number Three and applies for registration of the trademark "n03" for the company's products/services;
- The applicant has also supplemented information proving that the products and services bearing the "n03" mark have been present in the market in Vietnam in the years 2009, 2010, 2011. This international application has also been accepted for registration in Australia, the United States, Singapore, China, Korea and Russia.
- The applicant applies for the mark to be protected in its entirety; "n", "n0", "03" are disclaimed when standing alone.
Holding that the above arguments are grounded and the applied-for mark has been used rather widely in Vietnam to achieve its distinctiveness by consumers, the NOIP canceled its previous refusal decision and issued Decision No.1375/QD-SHTT dated May 10, 2021 to register the mark./.