From the islands of Indonesia, the IP Komodo prowls South East Asia and beyond looking for succulent morsels of intellectual property news with the aim of to raising awareness of South East Asia's IP issues to help people understand this diverse region's IP complexities.
Interbrand Group the UK strategic brand consultancy is taking on 3 Vietnamese companies for trademark infringement. The allegations include:
a. A Ho Chi Minh City-based business called Interbrand JSC uses "Interbrand" for their business activities via internet sites.
b. Inter Brand Media Co., Ltd. also in Ho Chi Minh City uses similar domain names: www.interbrandvietnam.com www.interbrandmedia.com; www.interbrandmedia.com.vn and www.interbrandmedia.vn. c. Hanoi based International Brand JSC uses the domain www.interbrand.com.vn
Apparently Interbrand Group has lodged complaints against the two firms in Ho Chi Minh City, and is preparing legal procedures against the third in Hanoi.
The news reports do not say whether this is a civil or criminal action, but the press do suggest it is a court action. In Vietnam there are precious few civil IP disputes, so IP Komodo is licking his lips at the prospect of a civil trial. But more common is the use of the Economic Police for criminal IP violations and the Market Management Bureau which has authority to handle trademark complaints at a retail level. However the fact that these are internet domain name related cases suggests civil action too.
Meanwhile Interbrand is speaking about its Best Global Brands listing, the firm’s annual ranking of the top 100 brands at an American Chamber of Commerce lunch in Ho Chi Minh City on Oct 11th 2011 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm. Those wishing to attend can click here.