trademarks are automatically recognized in Vietnam and legally protected as
registered brand names even if the owners have yet to apply for protection, a
senior official has said.
Hung, General Director of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP),
said this practice in Vietnam’s
Intellectual Property Law has been in effect since June 2006.
Thanh Nien Daily that Vietnam
joins WTO member nations as well as international organizations of intellectual
property (IP) like TRIPS, the Madrid
agreements and protocol, and the Paris Convention to help protect intellectual
to Hung, the Intellectual Property Law defines well-known trade-marks in terms
of eight criteria.
He went on
to elaborate that international trademarks must be recognizable to the local
trademarks have to create a specific sum of revenues for their owners or appear
in public advertisements with a specific number of frequencies.
trademarks must be legally approved by governments or international IP
it is not necessary for trademark owners to meet all the eight criteria, but
the more they meet the greater their chance to get protection.
well-known trademarks like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, and Toyota
are protected in Vietnam
and have been for some years.
Hung said that his office rejects applications from unauthorized foreign
businesses who want to own the well-known trademarks in Vietnam.
Vietnam is considered to be among the
weakest countries in intellectual property protection.
has caused a great deal of tension as Vietnamese officials try to resolve the
matter and enforce reasonable punishments. Vietnam spent more time than
expected in negotiations for acceptance into the WTO because of this issue.
30,000 IP applications have been submitted to NOIP for protection so far this
year, an increase of 30 percent year-on-year.
percent of them are Vietnamese trademarks while 40 percent are from foreign
trade-marks of Vietnamese businesses have been registered abroad.
NOIP, a body of the Ministry of Science and Technology, will set up a trademark
assessing unit that will assist businesses involved in mergers or takeovers.
that businesses, especially state-owned enterprises (SOEs), are difficult to
assess as a result of their lack of experience.
SOEs have undergone equitization since 1992 with some of them asking for brand
name assessments and IP protection while others do not add the trade-marks and
brand name values into their chartered capital.
value can be regained through auctions or initial public offerings.
assessment will become NOIP’s pivotal function according to proposals set forth
by the finance and culture and information and sports ministries. NOIP is only
responsible for IP registration and protection.
Source: Thanh Nien – October 2007 - Reported by Minh Quang