As intellectual property rights are becoming increasingly important in international trade, experts urged Vietnamese companies to pay attention to overseas trademark protection registration.
According to the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), only about 1,000 Vietnamese trademarks are currently registered overseas. This is just a modest number given the hundreds of thousands of existing Vietnamese companies.
At a workshop on trends and measures of brand development and intellectual property protection in international trade held yesterday, experts said brands and intellectual property were increasingly ruling global product value. They noted that brand value now accounted for one-third of the global economy’s value.
Doan Duy Khuong, VCCI deputy chairman, said brand and trademark building must always be associated with registration for intellectual property protection.
He observed that brands were critical for a sustainable economy, and a competitive economy must have competitive brands in both domestic and international markets.
However, according to Tran Van Hai, head of the Intellectual Property Division of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, many companies have not paid adequate attention to trademark registration, especially overseas, and some don’t even fully understand independent protection principles under the provisions of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Hai said small, medium and large enterprises risked losing their intellectual property in international trade. He cited the cases of Vietinbank and Buon Ma Thuat coffee as examples.
A Russian commercial bank registered Vietinbank’s formal name, Incombank, while a Chinese company registered coffee brand Buon Ma Thuat for sole patent rights in China beginning 2010.
The concerned Vietnamese companies were informed about these registrations after the fact. The Chinese Ministry of Industry and Trade cancelled the Buon Ma Thuat Coffee trademark registration early this year.
Hai explained that trademark protection registration was indispensable and urged Vietnamese companies to have a better understanding of international trademark protection principals.
At the workshop, experts also urged Vietnamese companies to pay attention to online brand identity in a rapidly changing and digitised world, as this allowed for differences in competition. — VNS