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Seminar highlights trademark problems

Update: November, 18/2016 - 09:47
The problems of developing, registering and marketing trademarks for agricultural produce were discussed at seminar in southern Bến Tre Province on Wednesday. — Photo lehoiduabentre.vn

BẾN TRE — The problems of developing, registering and marketing trademarks for agricultural produce were discussed at seminar in southern Bến Tre Province on Wednesday.

These included delays in processing applications, the misuse of trademarks by non-registered products and challenges posed by free trade agreements.

Đỗ Thị Minh Trâm, deputy head of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, reiterated the advantages of having a strong trademark for the nation’s agricultural products.

She said local firms should build strong trademarks to promote consumption of agricultural products and improve their competitiveness in local and global markets.

Over the last two years, the southern region has had trademarks issued for 30 agricultural products. This effort was supported with VNĐ1 billion (US$45,250) from national and local funds for industrial promotion.

The 30 products include six registered by Long An Province, four by Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu and several others, including dried shrimp and honey by Cà Mau.

Some enterprises had not registered their trademarks because it was a time-consuming and costly process at VNĐ35 million for each re-certification, according to the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Trần Giang Khuê, an NOIP representative, said that the number of applications for trademark had increased, but the local department did not have sufficient personnel to process them in time, despite the application of information technology.

Phạm Châu Hoành of the Ninh Thuận Grape Association said maintaining and developing a product trademark after registration was also difficult because registered trademarks were being used by other products.

For instance, the Ninh Thuận Grape has been a registered trademark for long time, but grapes from elsewhere were being sold at supermarkets as Ninh Thuận grapes

Khuê of NOIP said it was important to develop the quality of the product that has a trademark, failing which it would be difficult to popularise it.

In the long term, to make local trademarks strong and popular, local firms should also establish links with others in the region, Khuê said.

Trâm of the Bến Tre Department of Industry of Trade said that many Vietnamese goods have entered global market via intermediaries, either by supplying raw material or processing products for famous foreign brands. So customers around the world do not know what the products come from Việt Nam, he said.

With Việt Nam joining many free trade agreements, it will be very challenging for local firms to compete with goods from other countries, and this will apply to trademarks too, she said.

Therefore, domestic firms should develop strategies to build, develop, advertise and protect their trademark, she added.

They must build strong trademarks to create a reputation for their products and promote their consumption. Registering the trademark is needed to protect firms during trade disputes, Trâm said.

She said trademarks are not just assets for businesses, they are also national assets because they become associated with the country. Enterprises and business leaders should keep this in mind when building and developing their trademarks, she added. — VNS

 

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