SMEs, universities fail to value intellectual property rights

HCMC – Most small and medium enterprises, universities and research institutes in the country have failed to consider their intellectual property rights as valuable assets during their business and research activities, according to the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam.

Many enterprises and universities have not registered applications for the protection of intellectual property or patents although fraud in business and research activities is rapidly increasing nationwide, said an official of the intellectual property office.

Tran Huu Nam, vice head of the National Office of Intellectual Property, said only 80,000 trademarks from 350,000 small and medium enterprises in the country had been registered to establish their own patents.

Nam told a seminar on protection of intellectual property rights last week that this was a modest figure because small and medium enterprises make up 96% of the country’s companies.

Most companies and universities are still unaware of the need to protect their patents, he said, and they even become confused when their trademarks are stolen.

Meanwhile, many companies have successfully established their own patents. Van Dien Phosphate Fertilizer Company was successful with a patent on blast furnace phosphate fertilizer, Duy Loi Enterprise became well-known with its patent on the foldable hammock and Tribeco with its industrial bottle design, according to the national intellectual property office.

Nam said small and medium enterprises could register for their own patents at any department of science and technology in any province provided that their products, trademarks or industrial design were original, creative and applicable in industrial production.

Trademark patents are valid for 10 years and industrial design patents are valid for five years. The patents may be extended twice.

Under regulations, the National Office of Intellectual Property will establish the patent while the enforcement agencies are customs, the economic police and market control authority.

 

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