Reshaping the protection of trademark
The Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has collaborated with the USAID-sponsored Project on Promoting Reform and Improving Connectivity of Small and Medium Enterprises (LinkSME) to organize a Workshop and Business Connection with the theme "Building and Protecting Trademarks to develop Vietnamese agricultural product brands".
According to the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, Vietnam is a country with advantages and potential in agricultural production, with various advantages in producing quality and diverse tropical agricultural products that are specific to each region and region.
However, the number of Vietnamese agricultural products that have been branded and registered for trademark and geographical indications protection in both domestic and international markets is still limited.
Many Vietnamese agricultural products of great value in recent years are in danger of losing their trademarks and brands because they have not been registered for trademark protection.
In addition, the construction and development of brands in the international market has posed great problems for businesses and state management agencies with regards to the protection of trademarks and geographical indications for Vietnamese agricultural products and specialties.
According to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, the trademark of agricultural products is a category that needs to be clearly defined and approached from the aspect of intellectual property protection of the product.
When agricultural products are delivered to domestic as well as international consumers, they need to be registered and certified so that a legal mechanism can be developed according to each group of products, each group of types of registration.
“The approach must be appropriate, suitable, and it must be consistent with the organizational mechanism for the implementation to be effective. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has coordinated with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop coordination regulations to build and protect trademarks for agricultural products" shared Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan.
The Director of the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development said that it is necessary to define and reformat standard concepts, thereby promoting them to cooperatives, farmers, local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and business associations on the subject of trademarks, geographical indications, collective marks, certification marks for agricultural products. Additionally, the steps necessary to the registration of geographical indications, collective marks, and certification marks should also be widely disseminated.
Avoid surprises for Vietnamese agricultural products on the international market playground
So far, Vietnam's agricultural sector has been able to access the international market extensively with 16 new-generation free trade agreements, including many major agreements such as RCEP, EVFTA, CPTPP among many others.
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan said that when Vietnam participates in such a large and extensive playground, it is necessary to prepare a professional legal capacity and minimize the risk of commercial conflicts.
This is an important cognitive preparation for the state management agencies, local governments, business associations and businesses to avoid surprises on the international playing field.
“We have drawn lessons from experience as well as failures and losses that occured when awareness of intellectual property is limited. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare the necessary knowledge and skills to approach and improve practical capacity from the grassroots level so that farmers can become capable traders", emphasized Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan.
At the Workshop on "Building and Protecting Trademarks to develop Vietnamese agricultural product brands", the delegates shared about the procedure for trademark protection registration for Vietnamese agricultural products in the domestic and international market. They also remark on important aspects of the construction and protection of trademarks of agricultural products.
Many businesses have shared experiences in building, protecting and developing trademarks for agricultural products as well as providing technical advice on issues and processes in trademark protection and branding for agricultural products on the international market.
According to Ms. Le Thi Thu, Deputy Director of the Center for Appraisal of Geographical Indications and International Trademarks under the Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Science and Technology, the construction and protection of trademarks for agricultural products are facing many difficulties.
Namely, there are no detailed regulations on management of geographical indications, certification marks and collective marks at the central level.
In terms of local governance, the lack of surveys to identify the needs of producers, traders and consumers has led to the selection of registered products that are not suitable with the reality and market needs.
Author: Pham Hieu
Translated by Nguyen Hai Long
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