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INTA Bulletin


December 1, 2017 Vol. 72 No. 20 Back to Bulletin Main Page

INTA Renews MOU in Vietnam: Sets Course for Next Three Years


On Friday, November 17, INTA and the Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Inspectorate celebrated the conclusion of a three-year research project on Vietnam’s well-known marks regime and renewed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for another three years. Under the new MOU, INTA and MOST will work on a research project focused on e-commerce anticounterfeiting.

Representing INTA at the closing ceremony was Louis Chan (Proctor & Gamble Singapore, Singapore), a member of INTA’s Board of Directors. “Under the MOU, INTA and the Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology Inspectorate have worked together for three years researching global trends on well-known mark protection, the situation on the ground in Vietnam, and together we worked on a series of recommendations for improvements to the legislative and regulatory framework in Vietnam,” Mr. Chan said.

A task force of INTA volunteers, Vietnamese academics, government officials from a cross-section of IPR-related departments, and members of the Vietnam IPR community worked on a series of policy dialogues over the three years of the MOU project. These dialogues were held in several major cities in Vietnam, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang.

Vice Minister of MOST addressed the audience of more than 150 attendees at the closing ceremony. He noted that well-known marks protection is an important feature of Vietnam’s IP commitments and a key feature of the country’s economic strategy to grow innovative companies. He noted the strong cooperation of leading Vietnamese brands, including VINAMILK and VINACAFE.

INTA Asia-Pacific Chief Representative, Seth Hays, provided the audience with INTA’s perspective on well-known marks, including INTA’s position in support of the WIPO Joint Recommendation from 1999.

Tom Treutler (Tilleke & Gibbins, Vietnam) and INTA subcommittee chair of the Famous and Well-known Mark Committee, spoke on behalf of practitioners. He said that, although Vietnam IP practice has been using provisions for well-known marks, this project has provided new opportunities to study the pros and cons of other systems, such as well-known marks registries.

The Deputy Chief Inspector of MOST, Nguyen Nhu Quỳnh, noted at the ceremony that the MOU implementation was challenging work, but results had forged substantial friendships for Vietnam’s IP community at an international level.

The forthcoming MOU project will focus on the emerging issue of e-commerce anticounterfeiting in Vietnam. Internet penetration is growing in the country, and retail sales online are outpacing brick-and-mortar sales, as in most countries. E-commerce is a focus of the regional Free Trade Agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes 15 countries. Next year, as Singapore takes the chair of ASEAN, news reports indicate that e-commerce integration in ASEAN will be a focus. In this context, INTA would like to bring platforms and brands to the table to discuss IP protection, as recommended in the recently approved Voluntary Best Practices to Combat the Sale of Online Counterfeits, passed by the INTA Board at the Leadership Meeting in Washington, D.C., in November.

INTA’s activity has been growing recently in Vietnam. On November 16, INTA held a reception of members to discuss the new 2018‒2021 Strategic Plan, and the next day following the MOU ceremony held an IP Valuation, Equity, and Commercialization workshop focused on what INTA can do for the Vietnam IP community in this space over the next few years.

For more information or to get involved in the future activities in Vietnam, please contact Seth Hays at shays@inta.org.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2017 International Trademark Association