The National Office of Intellectual Property, Vietnam (NOIP) issued
Notification No. 1331/TB-SHTT on June 14, 2006, notifying the public
that Vietnam would join the Madrid Protocol (the “Protocol”) as a
contracting party effective as of July 11, 2006.
By way of background, the international trade mark registration system
is governed by both the Madrid Agreement (the “Madrid Agreement”) which
took effect in 1891 and the Madrid Protocol which took effect on
December 1, 1995. As of April 15, 2006, there are 56 member countries
of the Madrid Agreement and 68 member countries of the Madrid Protocol.
However, many countries such as the US, the United Kingdom, Japan, and
Singapore, are not members of the Madrid Agreement. The Madrid Protocol
extends the international trade mark registration system to countries
that are not members of the Madrid Agreement, thereby creating
increased convenience and favourable conditions for international trade
Registering trademarks in member countries of the Madrid Protocol will
be done by sending an application to the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) via the National Office of Intellectual Property
Entering into the Madrid Protocol will help lessen costs for
registration, which are high in markets such as the US and Japan.
According to NOIP, Vietnam has about 115,000 trademarks registered
domestically and over 1,000 trademarks registered in foreign countries.
However, many Vietnamese businesses had recently to cope with the fact
that their trademarks were usurped and have had to spend a lot of time
and money to remake them.
Typical cases were Vinataba tobacco trademark arrogated in 12
countries, Sa Giang prawn cracker stolen in France and Trung Nguyen
coffee in the US
((Source: NOIP - 11/07/2006)