Vietnamese businesses still ignore IP Law

September 28, 2006



09:27′ 27/09/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: HA 907149 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này

VietNamNet Bridge – The Law on Intellectual Property (IP) took effect on July 1, 2006. Ten days later, the Madrid agreement on international registration of brands took effect in Vietnam. However, many Vietnamese companies are still not fully aware of the significance of brand protection.


The danger is that Vietnamese enterprises may have to pursue overseas lawsuits to claim their brands if disputes occur.


How to avoid brand-related lawsuits?


The result of a survey of famous brands in Vietnam in 2006 has surprised many people: 50% of the total of 500 most popular brands in Vietnam is owned by Vietnamese companies. However, many of the 500 surveyed brands are not registered for protection.


“If this situation goes on, there will surely be expensive lessons like the cases of the Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT) and the Vietnam Tobacco Corporation (Vinataba) when they had to pursue lawsuits abroad to take back their brands,” said an expert.


According to this expert, if disputes occur, Vietnamese companies will face many troubles and have to spend a lot of money. The issuance of the Law in IP and Vietnam’s participation in the Madrid agreement on international registration of brands has partly helped raise the awareness of Vietnamese businesses of IP.


Pham Thanh Long, Director of the Pham Lawyer & Associates Company, said that along with economic development and fiercer competition, brands are extremely important to enterprises. A brand is the symbol of a business and the way it promotes itself in local and foreign markets.


Many famous brand names have become valuable invisible assets like Coca Cola ($79 billion), Microsoft ($64 billion), IBM ($51.2 billion), GE, Intel, and Nokia ($30 billion). Thus, Vietnamese businesses can’t ignore brand registration.


Along with the development of the Vietnamese economy and the country’s accession to the WTO, the number of Vietnamese companies registering their brands abroad is on the rise. This is a precondition for the promotion of exports and protection of the overseas markets of Vietnamese companies.


The Madrid agreement on international registration of brands went into effect in Vietnam in July 2006, and it has enabled local companies to register their brand names abroad and to avoid disputes.


They attach important to brand registration but…


The number of brand registration forms submitted to relevant departments increased from 5,882 in 2000 to 18,018 in 2005. The statistics show that awareness of brand registration and protection has improved. However, awareness of the role and value of brands in Vietnam is still poor as many local companies are not interested in developing Vietnamese brand names.


A survey by the Saigon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) newspaper of 500 companies reveals that 49% of the work related to brands is directly monitored by the directorate. Only 16% of the surveyed companies have divisions specialising in this field. Nearly 80% of companies don’t have staff in charge of brand management.


Investing in brand name development is also a problem: The surey discloses that more than 20% of businesses don’t invest in brand names and more than 74% invest less than 5% of their turnover in this task.


Some lawyers said that business leaders have some knowledge of brand protection but their understanding of how to prevent brand violations is still poor. 

(Source: Tien Phong)

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