Quality Vietnamese products lack branding and trademark protection

10:00 | 02/01/2019 Trade

(VEN) - The Enterprise Support Project recently carried out a survey on branding. Of the 500 surveyed enterprises, 25-30 percent said they had not invested in branding at all, more than 70 percent said they implemented inadequate investment in branding, and only fewer than five percent said they invested in branding properly.  

Many Vietnamese agricultural products have not been branded

Improper investment

A survey by the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that only 20 percent of Vietnamese enterprises invested in branding, with most of them interested in brand registration in the domestic market but not in foreign markets.

Le Xuan Thu from Pham & Associates said that from 1988 to 2017, 29,492 Vietnamese enterprises applied for protection of industrial designs with 17,830 industrial design patents, mostly for simple products such as labels, packaging, bottles and other kinds of containers.

The figures indicate that enterprises are not motivated to protect their industrial designs. This is attributed to the time needed to apply for a design registration certificate while the lifetime of such designs is short. Another fact is that many enterprises prefer copying unprotected designs of other companies to creating their own.

Meanwhile, apart from strongly investing in promoting their brands, a number of foreign businesses bought Vietnamese goods brands to strengthen their presence in Vietnam. The Unilever Group, for example, acquired the P/S brand and made use of the Phu Quoc origin for its Knorr Phu Quoc fish sauce.

Although they exported consumer goods, farm produce, seafood and other food products of a quality by no means inferior to that of foreign products of the same kind, Vietnamese enterprises haven’t invested properly in having their brands and industrial designs registered and protected in foreign markets.

Few Vietnamese brands and industrial designs have been registered for protection in foreign countries. For example, only 10 and 166 Vietnamese designs have been registered in the US and the EU, respectively, mostly vehicle, machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, bottles, bowls and cup designs of such leading names as Minh Long and Vinfast.

Some Vietnamese brands, including Trung Nguyen, Vinataba, Sa Giang, and Biti’s, were facing piracy problems and disputes in foreign markets.

State support

The Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Office of Intellectual Property said it would continue to implement Program 68 to assist enterprises in protecting and applying their inventions, manage intellectual property, and control the origin and quality of products protected in terms of intellectual property.

The Ministry of Finance issued Circular 29, providing guidelines for establishment, management and use of funds from the support industry development program, which took effect on May 11, 2018. According to the circular, enterprises can access assistance of up to VND50 million to promote a support industry product and/or have a brand registered.

Thao Duong