Textile and garment business: Loops in Intellectual Property rights protection

Vietnamese textile and garment companies have not aware of the importance of intellectual property (“IP”)  as a tool in enhancing its competitiveness in the market. Besides, most of Vietnamese fashion and textile companies outsource for foreign brands, therefore, IP issues are paid scant attention. In addition, State agencies are also slow in issuing support mechanisms such as pricing and commercialization of IP assets, therefore, IP has not yet become a useful tool contributing to the value of textile and garment companies.

International Trademark Registration remains small

According to 2018 statistics by Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (“Vinatex”), only 30 companies out of their 49 member companies have registered trademarks with the total number of 266 trademarks accepted for protection and 19 other companies have not yet filed any trademark applications and all do not have filed any application for patents and industrial designs (pattern, product design).

Registered trademarks are mostly logos of companies and garment products.  There are actually no trademarks for fiber and fabric. Among the enterprises that have registered their trademarks, there are a few enterprises such as Phong Phu, Viet Tien, May 10  filing trademark applications in foreign markets, the rest mainly focus on trademark registration at the domestic market.

Also in 2018, Mr. Le Ngoc Lam, Deputy Director of the Department of Intellectual Property, said that Vietnamese textile and garment companies usually focus on the production stage, while the consumption stage is left to agents and business partners. A dispute occurs when these agents register Vietnamese textile and garment companies’ trademark in their exporting markets in their name. The mass media repeatedly mentioned in various articles that Vietnamese enterprises facing the problem of being stolen with their trademarks or counterfeiting their trademarks in the international market which are followed by a series of disputes over trademark rights such as cases of Sabeco in the Singapore market; Vinataba in the Asian market; Biti’s, Ben Tre coconut candy in China; Sa Giang shrimp crackers in France; Trung Nguyen in Japan, the US and especially in the US market with major Vietnamese brands such as PetroVietNam, Vifon, Saigon Export, Viet Tien … Losing a brand is not just losing the market, losing customers but means damages and costs to businesses.

The alarming facts are that many businesses in our country including large ones are still “strange” to the registration of trademark protection abroad. According to the statistics of the Department of Intellectual Property at the IP Vietnam, only about 1,000 trademarks of our country’s enterprises are registered abroad which is a very small number compared to the actual export values of Vietnam today.

IP and fashion industry
Source: Shutterstock

IP rights enforcement in textile and garment business

IP rights enforcement measures by Vietnamese textile and garment companies themselves remains not effective in Vietnam. Many Vinatex member companies only care about product development, calling for investment, planning marketing but “forgetting” their IP assets. In the market, there exists widespread fake products, counterfeits of famous domestic brands of Vinatex member companies such as May 10, Viet Tien, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to take effective actions against IP infringement and at the same time file immediate applications for protection of their an IP objects such as a fashion design, pattern, product designs, etc. Moreover, it is necessary to raise consumers’ awareness in identifying counterfeit products through public communication and media.

Textile and garment companies desiring more detailed advice and analysis, please visit our article at https://anlis.vn/en/ip-rights-protection-in-the-fashion-industry/

Intellectual Property Services in Vietnam

In order to protection your IP rights, it is necessary to register your assets now. For comprehensive and in-time advice, please do not hesitate to contact ANLIS IP – an Intellectual Property Agent/Services in Vietnam. We are available for any inquiries and questions.

Hotline: +84-899-88-6060

Whatsapp/Viber: +84-366.469.436 for instance advice.

Email: info@anlis.vn for general matters – ip@anlis.vn for intellectual property matters.

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