Brand protection: A valuable lesson for local firms

10:14 | 07/08/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Intellectual property is a tool to help enterprises stand firm in the market and ensure sustainable development. However Vietnamese enterprises are facing many challenges in protection of intellectual property rights. Le Ngoc Lam, deputy director of the National Office of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology, talked about the issue in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Hanh.  

brand protection a valuable lesson for local firms
Le Ngoc Lam, deputy director of the National Office of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology

Could you tell us about the protection of Vietnamese brands?

The protection of local brands faces many challenges. Some domestic enterprises have been surprised to see their brands registered by others after entering the international playground.

For example, the Vinataba trademark of the Vietnam National Tobacco Corporation has been used since 1985 and is protected under the domestic registration certificate. However, the corporation has faced difficulties in exports as the Indonesian company PT Putra Stabat Industri registered the Vinataba trademark in ASEAN and Asian countries.

Buon Ma Thuot coffee, Trung Nguyen cafe, Sa Giang shrimp-chips, Ben Tre coconut candy and Phu Quoc fish sauce have also been illegally registered overseas, resulting in an infringement of copyrights.

It is extremely costly and time-consuming to take back the names and as a result, only a few Vietnamese companies are able to regain their brand names.

What is your advice for Vietnamese enterprises?

Enterprises need to learn lessons. In the process of development, they must register intellectual property rights. Registering trademarks is important to confer title to the genuine owner of the trademark, and to provide the trademark owner with legal remedies to enforce the right to exclusively use the trademark and prevent public confusion over counterfeit goods or services. In addition to registration domestically, trademarks also need to be registered in strategic foreign markets in which goods might be distributed in the future.

What measures has the NOIP implemented to support enterprises?

Domestic enterprises have mainly focused on trademark registration. However, with Vietnam’s growing participation in the global marketplace, enterprises need better knowledge to help them ensure competitiveness and protect licensing.

The NOIP regularly organizes training courses to help enterprises better understand about intellectual property rights as well as their strengths and advantages.

Given that science and technology are fast developing, enterprises must think about scientific and technological solutions in order to improve their competitiveness, so that they can export products and compete in the market.

Nguyen Hanh