Chinese company loses patent for Buon Ma Thuot coffee brand

Guangzhou Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Company lost their patent for Buon Ma Thuot coffee, according to Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Association on February 19.

Processing harvested coffee in Buon Ma Thuot City (Photo: SGGP)

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in China revoked the company’s patent after receiving a complaint filed by the Pham and Associates Law Office in Hanoi in 2013.

Withdrawal of the patent was caused by confusion of the coffee’s origin, according to the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Association.  Because the coffee is grown in Buon Ma Thuot and the company originates in Guangzhou City, China, the association and the law office believed customers would misunderstand the geographic origin of the product.

The Buon Ma Thuot Guangzhou Company previously owned sole-patent rights in China for ‘Buon Ma Thuot and Han script’ lasting from November 2010 until November 2020 and ‘Buon Ma Thuot Coffee-1986’ lasting from June 2011 to June 2021.

The Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Association and Pham and Associates Law Office in Hanoi, authorized by the Dak Lak Province People’s Committee, appealed against the company’s patent in March 2013.

To appeal the case, the company must file a complaint to the court in Beijing, China by the end of this month.  If the company fails to do so, the revocation will become effective and Vietnam will reclaim the Buon Ma Thuot coffee brand.

By Cong Hoan – Translated by Hai Mien

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