Friday, July 30, 2004

The "Voice of Vietnam" on the need to strengthen Vietnamese trademarks

I ran across this article from a site called The Voice of Vietnam titled: "Trademark is Culture for Global Integration Process." I'm not sure that title was properly translated, but the article is very interesting.

According to the Department of Intellectual Properties under the Ministry of Science and Technology, from 1995 to 2002, as many as 8,632 foreign firms registered for [intellectual] property rights in Vietnam, while only 305 Vietnamese enterprises registered. The figures represent 98.7 percent and 1.3 percent of the total number of certificates granted to foreign and domestic firms, respectively. This trend is a warning bell for Vietnamese products and farm produce prior to the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to the Ministry of Trade, as many as 4,206 US business trademarks have been registered in Vietnam, less than one percent in comparison to the number of registered trademarks in the US during the 1997-2003 period.
For the past 10 years, the concept of "marketing accompanying the quality of goods" has appeared in the consciousness of consumers and the gap between Vietnamese consumers ... This represents a belief that the quality of goods and the significance of a trademark have strong links. Consequently, the quality of goods alone is not enough. It is essential to create an attractive image through the character of a trademark. Therefore, giving a name for a product is part of the culture of running a business.

Wow, it is hard to believe there are places where marketing and quality of goods are just only now becoming linked in the minds of consumers. In the USA it is almost to the point where (some) people are aware that the connection between quality and marketing is at least tenuous, which is a whole different level of consumerism.

The article goes on to describe what the purpose of trademarks are for products in an attempt to get Vietnamese producers to start creating more of them.

Currently, Vietnam has more than 500 trademarks. However, creating a successful trademark in Vietnam is not an easy task and the country is now on the way to global integration. It is necessary for domestic enterprises to learn more from successful foreign businesses, producers and markets, so as to increase productivity and develop a trademark with a deep impression, stable quality and attractive appearance.

I think I am actually jealous of a person who just hasn't been exposed to so many trademarks. In the US and Europe by the time a person is an adult they can certainly identify products and companies by merely seeing the typeface of the logo or a pictoral logo. Is this a sad or an exciting period that the Vietnamese are about to go through? It is difficult to determine the answer to that, although I do know they would probably prefer higher living standards, like anyone else. IP is a vehicle for increased consumerism and profit, hopefully the process of strengthening IP will benefit the people of Vietnam.

I think this article would interest Marty Schwimmer over at The Trademark Blog, I'm sure he'd have some interesting thoughts on it.


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