Intellectual property violations hit local firms

VietNamNet Bridge – Infringements of intellectual property rights are still a headache, causing huge losses among local companies, but there are not effective cures for the problem, heard a seminar on intellectual property in HCMC last Saturday.

HCM City, violations, intellectual property rights, local firms

There are a lot of corporate victims of intellectual property right violations, ranging from small businesses to bigger ones in all industries inside and outside the nation.

For instance, Namilux gas cookers are faked the most in Quang Ninh Province and Haiphong City. At the seminar, a Namilux representative said it is easy to have 500-1,000 fake gas cookers produced as authentic Namilux products in China.

This problem has considerably reduced the company’s sales and sapped consumer confidence towards its items.

However, Namilux is only able to send letters to agents selling the copycats and informing competent authorities of the matter while failing to take more drastic actions to deal with it.

Meanwhile, many other entities even decide to keep silent despite knowing that their products are being imitated, saying asking for legal supports in this regard is really troublesome and unhelpful. Some companies said they dare not make a fuss over the problem for fear that consumers will turn their back to their products.

Nguyen Thanh Binh, chief representative of the National Office of Industrial Property of Vietnam in HCMC, said as intellectual property rights are only recognized in the country, local exporters need to register to protect their brands in foreign countries.

In fact, numerous brands of Vietnamese enterprises have been registered by others overseas.

The case of Vietnam National Tobacco Corp (Vinataba) is an example. Vinataba now is unable to export products to China as a foreign firm has already registered for the protection right for the brand in China, said Binh. The firm has fought back for the brand in Cambodia and Laos but it has failed to do so in China for over a decade, he added.

This means that Vinataba products will be stopped right at the country’s border gates with China or the firm will have to pay a brand copyright fee to the Chinese firm to have its products shipped to the neighboring country.

Local market monitoring officers handled nearly 6,000 violations involving intellectual property rights in the year’s first half, said Le Ngoc Trung, deputy director of the southern division under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Also, in 2012, the industry ministry’s market management officers tackled more than 10,000 related cases, he reported.

Source: SGT

HCM City, violations, intellectual property rights, local firms