Invenmark, the legal representative of Sumatra, has sent a document to the Prime Minister in a reaction to Vinataba’s behaviors of denouncing Sumatra of illegally using the trademarks JET and HERO.
The document says Sumatra is a company which does business in many different fields and owns two trademarks JET and HERO. Both the trademarks are well known. Sumatra has patents for the two trademarks in 108 countries. It also received 67 certificates on trademark registrations for the two trademarks from NOIP in Vietnam in 1990.
In fact, Sumatra registered the trademarks but has not used them over the last five years. Explaining this, Sumatra said it wants to make investment in Vietnam, but with the Decree No 119, Vietnam now restricts tobacco manufacturing.
Therefore, Sumatra has sold JET and HERO tobacco products in Vietnam to some state-owned enterprises. The products are available at duty-free shops at border gates and international airports.
“Vinataba saying that tobacco products bearing JET and HERO trademarks illegally available are Sumatra’s products is not true,” said Le Xuan Thao, director of Invenmark.
“Sumatra does not illegally import products and does not allow anyone to illegal import JET and HERO products to Vietnam,” Thao said, adding that Sumatra has never been found by Vietnamese agencies as smuggling or counterfeiting goods.
Regarding Vinataba’s behavior of registering JET and HERO trademarks at NOIP and its plan to make JET and HERO tobacco products in Vietnam, Invenmark believes that Vinataba has violated laws on intellectual property, because JET and HERO are now owned by Sumatra.
Thao said Vinataba’s planning to make JET and HERO tobacco will violate Article No 10bis of the Paris Convention on unhealthy competition behavior and Article No 123 of Vietnam’s Intellectual Property.
Both Vietnam and Indonesia, the home country of Sumatra, are members of the Paris Convention.
NOIP has told Sumatra about Vinataba’s request to suspend and invalidate JET and HERO trademarks. The agency is now awaiting Sumatra’s response on the issue before it makes decision.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has sent a dispatch to the Ministry of Science and Technology, requesting to check the compliance of Sumatra in Vietnam related to the two trademarks.
According to Vinataba, products bearing JET and HERO account for 80-90 percent of 22 billion cigarettes smuggled into Vietnam every year.