Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – Registration is imperative if businesses want to protect their trademarks, delegates told a seminar in HCM City yesterday (Wednesday).
Nguyễn Thị Hoài Thanh of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Việt Nam (noip Vietnam) said trademarks are signs that serve the specific and primary purpose of identifying the goods and services of a producer.
They also help build trust in companies and their reputation, and play an important role in marketing and advertising, she said, adding that because a registered trademark is a form of intellectual property, businesses can license or assign it to others or restrict others from using it.
Vương Đức Tuấn of noip Vietnam’s HCM City office, said with the ongoing integration, the demand to register Vietnamese trade marks abroad and foreign trade marks in Việt Nam has steadily increased.
There are two ways for Vietnamese firms to register their trademark abroad - directly in a country or through the Madrid system of the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The latter offers people the possibility of having their trademarks protected in several countries by submitting an application directly to their own trademark office, he said.
In the past Vietnamese firms like Trung Nguyên Coffee spent a lot of time and money to protect their trademarks that had been appropriated by local and foreign firms, he said.
Therefore, it is vital for businesses, especially producers, to understand the importance of protecting their trademarks, he said.
Thanh said: “The protection of a trademark is territorial. This means that the rights of a trademark are enforceable only in the countries where [it] is registered. Therefore, they must register their trademarks in markets they want to penetrate.”
Once a trademark is registered, the protection will last 10 years, and businesses can renew.
Việt Nam as well as many ASEAN countries have adopted the first-to-file system, Thanh said.
So businesses should research trademarks before filing to avoid conflicts, she said.
Văn Tuyên, head of Nutifood’s legal department, said registration to protect trademarks abroad is not only complicated but also costly.
Businesses often do not know how to register in foreign countries or the duties and responsibilities of trademark owners, meaning they could easily lose their ownership rights, he said.
Vietnamese agencies should provide businesses with more information about intellectual property and the trademark application process in other countries, he said.
The seminar was organised by noip Vietnam and the HCM City Intellectual Property Association. -- VNS