VietNamNet Bridge – The Hanoi Planning and Investment Department has instructed the Vincon Land and Finance Corporation to take necessary procedures to rename the enterprise.
With the decision, the lawsuit where Vincom Joint Stock Corporation took legal proceedings against Vincon for “serious violation of intellectual property” has a “happy ending” because the justice has been served.
Meanwhile, people comment that Vincom winning over the imitated brand Vincom is a good precedent for protection of intellectual property in Vietnam.
In its notice, the Hanoi Planning and Investment Department cited the Government’s Decree 43 on business registration as saying that businesses have to take responsibility themselves before the laws, if they violate the regulations on intellectual property in naming their businesses.
In this case, Vincon has violated regulations on industrial property and it has to register to change its name. Therefore, Vincon must fulfill the procedures on renaming the business within two months from the day the notice was released.
Meanwhile, Vietnam News Agency has quoted Tran Viet Hung, Director of the National Office for Intellectual Property NOIP as saying that the Intellectual Property Law in Vietnam has a provision which stipulates procedures in such a case, and the violator will be forced to change its name in order to avoid misunderstanding.
To date, there has been no official reply from the Hanoi People’s Court, where Vincom lodged its complaint . However, with the decision by the Department of Planning and Investment in Hanoi, it seems that the Vincom-Vincon case has come to an end.
Two months ago, Vincom Joint Stock Corporation officially took legal proceedings against Vincon to the Hanoi People’s Court, accusing Vincon of imitating its famous brand. Vincom also lodged an appeal to inspectors of the Ministry of Science and Technology MST, requesting to settle the case which it calls a “serious violation of intellectual property”.
Just two weeks later, on December 9, 2010, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology released a decision to fine Vincon for violations of industrial property rights.
As such, a new record in dealing with intellectual property right violations has been set, bringing a prompt victory to Vincom.
Vincon was fined of 14 million dong and it was forced to eliminate factors which may cause misunderstanding in its name plate, documents for transactions, business vehicles, advertisement pieces and the names of the company’s branches in Da Nang and Thua Thien-Hue.
Besides, the Vietnam Intellectual Property Research Institute (VIPRI) has officially concluded that “the symbol of ‘Vincon’ is so similar to ‘Vincom’ that may make it mistaken for the brand “Vincom”, now under protection of the law.
The prompt winning of Vincom makes people think that intellectual property violations will be harshly punished in the future.
In September 2010, the World Economic Forum released the global competitiveness ranking in 2010-2011 which said Vietnam ranks the 109th among 139 economies in terms of intellectual property.
However, experts have pointed out that the coincidence in business names is really a complicated issue in Hanoi.
When the former Ha Tay province became a part of Hanoi, the Hanoi Planning and Investment discovered 600 cases, where businesses had the same names. To date, the problem still has not been settled and many businesses with the same names are still operating in Hanoi.