Joint Circular No. 05/2016/TTLT-BKHCN-BKHDT was promulgated on 05 April 2016 by Ministry of Science & Technology (MOST) in coordination with Ministry of Planning & Investment (MPI), detailing and providing guildance on handling cases where company/enterprise names infringe upon industrial property rights. The Joint Circular is due to come into effect on 20 May 2016.
Previously, following a sanctioning decision by the Inspectorate of Ministry of Science & Technology of Vietnam (“IMOST”), the IMOST would request the infringer to change his company/enterprise/business name, if the infringer is not willing to comply with the IMOST’s request, most of infringing cases reached an impasse. This partially results from inaction of provincial/municipal Department of Planning & Investment due to unclear procedures involved and vague interpretation of the relevant laws.
Joint Circular No. 05/2016/TTLT-BKHCN-BKHDT recently issued by MOST and MPI has overcome shortcomings and fills the gaps of different regulations governing IP matters provided by Ministry of Science & Technology in coordination with Ministry of Planning & Investment on handling trademark-based trade name, creating a united, complete and strengthened IP legal framework to effectively address company/enterprise/business name which is confusingly similar/identical to prior industrial property rights is set forth therein. Following matters has been legislated.
• Role, function and task of Vietnam competent authorities to resolve company/enterprise/business names infringing prior industrial property, effectively and swiftly enforcing the sanctioning decisions
• Detailed procedures & clear timing for the handling of company name/IP right disputes.
One of notable remedies as set out in Joint Circular No. 05/2016/TTLT-BKHCN-BKHDT is that the company/enterprise/business name infringing prior industrial property rights be forced to change or the infringing company must remove infringing elements from their names, otherwise their enterprise registration certificates will be revoked.