IP News from duytho.com

DOES COMLINK VIETNAM COMPANY INFRINGE TRADEMARK RIGHT?

IP News from duytho.comNORINCO Corporation (France) is a transnational industrial Corporation with its branches located in nearly 100 countries all over the world…However, NORINCO (NR) was very excited (bức xúc) when it found out that some Vietnamese companies had manufactured

This product of NR has had confidence in the Units under Vietnam’s Post and Telecommunications industry for many recent years and was registered trademark according to the Madrid Agreement (Vietnam is a member), NR is also the owner of the International Registration No.752736 dated January 23, 2001 in class 06 and 42, is now effective all over the Vietnamese territory.

 

 

 

On April 5th, 2004, NR sent an official letter to the Vietnam’s National Office of Intellectual Property to request assessment on the infringement act of Comlink (CL) on industrial property rights. Specifically, CL copied NR’s catalog in the original to introduce and advertise its products (thus, the trademark with the combination of “L” letters as well as the design of NR are kept intact). Besides, CL also conducted such activities as production and trading products with design almost entirely resembling NR’s products and there is a combination of variant “L” letters on the products. However, the combination of “L” letters used by CL is still so similar that it can cause confusion with NR’s products. The above act is considered both infringement acts on industrial property rights to trademarks regulated in the Civil Code, Decree No. 63/CP on industrial property and unfair competitive acts regulated in Decree No. 54/2000/ND-CP on the protection of anti-unfair competitive right to industrial property. The Vietnam’s National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) requested CL to reply.

 

 

  

According to the official letter No. 285/CV sent to NOIP, CL reckoned that: “ CL’s production and trading the above products were permitted by authorities”. However, CL did not realize that the above-mentioned authorities just granted License on the business establishment and Certificate of the product quality, not relating to industrial property rights – the subject matter that NR appealed. On the other hand, CL asserted that: “CL uses letters “L” for smooth-proof and letters “L” of CL is different from NR’s”. However, CL cannot being aware that the combination of “L” letters is the trademark or the specific signs of NR’s products. If the combination of “L’ letters is for smooth-proof, why CL did not use other types of ordinary vein such as rhombic antanna, circle and square…but used the same “L” letters as NR’s? Besides, the difference between “L” letters is insufficient to obviously distinguish the two products while the similarity is more salient. Thus, it absolutely can cause confusion between the two products.

 

Also in the above official letter, CL affirmed that: “There are CL letters on CL’s product”. However, the above letters just occupy a small area of the whole facial area.

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