Protecting brand names to keep export market share

SGGP
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the US currently is the largest export market of Vietnam. Up to now, export turnover to the US market has exceeded US$45 billion, an increase of more than 28 percent over the same period last year. 

Protecting brand names to keep export market share

Vietnam is also among top ten largest exporters to this market. However, on the contrary to being one of largest exporters to the US market, the number of Vietnamese goods with brand names having been registered and protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is limited. At the present, only 1,938 Vietnamese brand names have been registered with the USPTO, of which, 1,090 brand names are existing. 

Meanwhile, other countries are behind Vietnam in terms of export turnover to the US market but their number of registered brand names is much higher than that of Vietnam. For instance, Taiwan has 33,820 registered brand names; Singapore has 10,811; and Malaysia has 2,690.

This shows that raw material export of Vietnamese goods to the US market remains quite popular. On the other hand, Vietnamese enterprises have not paid much attention to building brand names as well as registering for brand name ownership protection.

The Vietnamese commercial counsellor in the US said that by not focusing on investing in Vietnamese brand names will lead to the risk that Vietnamese exporters lose their brand names in the US market. In fact, many famous brand names of Vietnam were registered by enterprises of other countries in the US market. If export enterprises want to get back brand names, it will cost them lots of time, effort and expenses. There were cases in which enterprises must spend lots of money to buy back their own brand names at high prices or to sue to get back their brand names. Or they even have to use another brand name in the US market.

Obviously, trade mark is considered to be an important asset of enterprise, attaching to market. Losing trade mark means that enterprises lose that market. Therefore, it is crucial to protect brand names not only in domestic market but also at any market that enterprises have exported goods or intend to export goods to. Registering for intellectual ownership protection in general and for brand name protection in particular will help enterprises to safely approach market as well as avoid unhealthy competition so as to protect their brand names and market shares.

By Minh Xuan – Translated by Thuy Doan

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