Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai pushes for development of rice trademark

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai pushes for development of rice trademark

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has emphasised the need to develop a trademark for Vietnamese rice to increase the product’s standing in foreign markets.

According to a recent statement issued by the Governmental Office, the Deputy PM asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to collaborate with all relevant ministries, enterprises and local authorities throughout the country to complete the Vietnamese rice trademark development project.

Accordingly, the Mekong Delta region, the country’s key rice producer and exporter, is considered the project’s main target area, which will be developed based on the analysis of demand, production capacities, and potential for entering global rice markets in the near future.

In addition, measures and policies to encourage localities and enterprises to get involved in the efforts are to be put forward.

MARD was also asked to focus on mobilising necessary resources to complete the project and submit it for the Prime Minister’s approval in December 2014.-VNA

According to VNA

Readmore: Registration Trademark in Vietnam


Trademark, Patent, or Copyright?

A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.  A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Must all marks be registered?  No, but federal registration has several advantages, including a notice to the public of the registrant’s claim of ownership of the mark, a legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and the exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods or services set forth in the registration.

A patent is a limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

A copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

The Trademark Operation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) handles trademarks only.  For information on patents, please visit Patents or contact 800-786-9199.  For information on copyrights, please contact the U.S. Copyright Office (a division of the Library of Congress).


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOUR TRADEMARK LOSES ITS DISTINCTIVENESS?

To be caught in a situation where your mark has lost its distinctiveness is truly awful, and potentially disastrous to companies or trademark owners. When you create a mark, with its uniquely coined name and/or logo, and seek protection for that creation, you would surely believe that it is exclusive and that no one else has it, uses it, or can use it.

Having confidence that it is a unique mark, you are eager to develop the goodwill of the mark, and building goodwill – as we all know – requires substantial expenditure, time and effort.

Once your mark has generated goodwill, other parties will be attracted to your mark and may create similar marks to name their products or services, seek protection for it, and in a worst case scenario, get their trademarks registered and accepted by the Registrar.

While this may seem like it is just a story, this is exactly what happened to Toyota in Indonesia. Toyota has a range of world-renown luxury automobiles called LEXUS. Toyota, being the automobile giant that it is, naturally spent a lot to build up LEXUS as a premium brand.

However, the reputation of LEXUS inspired some parties to take advantage of the name and use it on their products. Not only did they use LEXUS for marketing and distribution, but they also sought protection for their LEXUS mark by filing trademark applications.

Problems arose when the Registrar noticed that LEXUS had become a trending name and as a consequence, LEXUS has been registered by many parties in many classes. For example, in class 09, LEXUS is owned by at least 3 different parties:

Reg. Number Owner Class Trademark
IDM000297188 LIE SUGIARTO 9 LEXUS
IDM000255545 JAYA ISKANDAR 9 LEXUS
IDM000232235 PT LEXUS DAYA UTAMA 9 LEXUS + LOGO
IDM000249462 LIE SUGIARTO 9 LEXUS + LOGO
IDM000236893 SOEBIJONO ISKANDAR 9 LEXUS

This was naturally an unfavourable circumstance for Toyota, who consequently sought legal action. The battle against the local owners of the LEXUS marks commenced 2 years ago, when Toyota filed at least 5 cancellation lawsuits against the local LEXUS marks at the Commercial Court and prevailed. More recently, Toyota filed a cancellation action against a LEXUS trademark in class 32, registered under number IDM00351051 in the name of Budi. Based on the previous decisions, it seemed clear that Toyota would prevail here too – and indeed it did, as the Judge held that the other LEXUS mark was riding on the goodwill of the LEXUS mark owned by TOYOTA.

However the battles against the locally owned LEXUS marks are far from over as there are still  more of such registrations in the Register. The journey to overcome this use of LEXUS by other parties will take time, which in turn means more money will be spent to fund the cancellation lawsuits.

Learning from Toyota’s experience, how can you avoid being in a similar situation? It’s simple. First, If your trademark has goodwill and you wish to build your brand internationally, you need to file for protection not only in the classes of goods or services in which you use your trademark, but you may also need to consider filing in other classes to avoid misuse by other parties. For this purpose, you can and should consult with your IP consultant. Secondly, ask your IP consultant to keep an eye on other applications which can be considered imitations (partial or whole) of your trademark, filed in other classes. In Indonesia, you will have the opportunity to file an opposition of another party’s application – even if filed in a different class – based on the popularity and the goodwill of your trademark.

Source: Kass

Category : IP News


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