| Phu Quoc fish sauce (Photo: nuocmanphuquoc.vn)
Many Vietnamese designs and trademarks such as Ben Tre coconut, Phu Quoc fish sauce, Phan Thiet fish sauce, and Buon Me Thuot coffee have been stolen and used by foreign enterprises causing great economic loss and challenged enterprises. However, the process of reclamation of intellectual property is often costly and time-consuming.
Vu Tien Loc, Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said: “Vietnamese enterprises have not paid due attention to intellectual property and the protection of industrial designs, patterns, and trademarks. The stealing of industrial designs and trademarks in past years has caused great problems for domestic businesses. They now need to further protect their industrial designs and register their trademarks as part of their efforts to expand the export market.”
| Trung Nguyen café (Photo: Trade magazine )
Amidst Vietnam’s extensive international integration and participation in bilateral and multilateral agreements with developed countries, commitments to protecting intellectual property rights – whether patents, trademarks, industrial designs, or geographical indications – have become a must for Vietnamese enterprises.
The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam under the Ministry of Science and Technology said several international IP systems related to procedures for international registration of IP have been introduced, including the Madrid Protocol on International Trademark Registration and the Hague Agreement on the International Registration of Industrial Designs.
Pham Nguyen Xuan Bac, Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of the Vietnam Intellectual Property Association (VIPA), said while the procedures of these systems are simple and can save on time and cost, Vietnamese businesses still need to be well aware of the regulations in place concerning the IP rights of their products.
Bac noted that participating in international treaties requires Vietnam to implement its IP protection activities more professionally, practically, and effectively.
“Vietnamese enterprises need to be well aware of the importance of the protection of IP and industrial designs and trademarks in order to compete on the international market and stay afloat during the integration process. At the same time, they must be more careful to avoid infringing the intellectual property of others, especially that of foreign companies,” said Bac.