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WIPO helps Vietnamese firms in IP protection

Experts from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) talked with Vietnamese enterprises on how to protect their intellectual property rights overseas at a seminar in HCM City on March 5.

WIPO Director in Singapore Denis Croze said “A logo or name is often the most valuable asset of a business.”

He went on to explain how businesses can protect their brands, logos and product names when expanding to other markets by using the WIPO’s Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks.

The Madrid System governs registration and management of trademarks in 116 countries and territories.

An international trademark registration requires payment of a basic fee plus additional costs depending on where the protection of the mark is sought and how many classes of goods and services are to be covered.

Croze also mentioned an international design system called Hague for the international registration of industrial designs.

It enables registration of up to 100 designs in over 66 countries and territories by filing a single international application.

Peter Willimott, a senior programme officer at the WIPO in Singapore, spoke about various types of IP rights, the role of the National IP Office, the WIPO and who does what in the international IP system.

“The IP system can be used effectively by any Vietnamese business, big or small, but it’s important to know a patent from a trademark.”

He also spoke about the options available to protect an invention, including the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and its benefits.

“There is no such thing as a world patent but the PCT is a system that saves businesses time, effort and money when seeking to obtain protection in many countries.”

The International Trademark Association (INTA)’s chief representative for the Asia-Pacific region, Seth Hays, talked the value of trademarks to the economy and need for overseas registration.

He said INTA has experience in supporting strategic plans for brand protection and overseas trademark registration.

“It’s not only for supporting brand owners but also for protecting consumers’ rights.”

INTA Asia-Pacific has 35 member enterprises in Vietnam.

The seminar was organised by the WIPO in collaboration with INTA, the Vietnam Intellectual Property Association, the HCM City Intellectual Property Association, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam.

It attracted 150 officials from relevant agencies and Vietnamese enterprises.