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Vinamit wins brand lawsuit in China

Saturday, December 29, 2012, 11:07 GMT+7
Vinamit wins brand lawsuit in China

Vietnamese dried fruit manufacturer Vinamit has scored a victory against its former Chinese distributor who ended up stealing its brand name on the dried jackfruit chip product in China. “The Beijing Commercial Court has ruled we win the dispute over the Duc Thanh brand name for the fried chip in China against Xie Hong Yi, which used to be our distributor,” Vinamit chairman Nguyen Lam Vien told Tuoi Tre on Thursday. The dispute originated when Vinamit only registered for the intellectual property for the Duc Thanh brand name in Vietnamese when it entered China 20 years ago, while the name in Chinese was left unregistered. The Chinese distributor thus grabbed the chance and got the Duc Thanh in Chinese brand name registered, while producing a similar product to Vinamit, and thus dominated the market which used to be held by Vinamit, the chairman said. The dispute peaked in 2011, when the Chinese Walmart chain refused to source Vinamit product under the Duc Thanh name in Vietnamese as the Duc Thanh name in Chinese was registered. “Hence, we had to switch to the Vinamit name, but Chinese customers are more familiar to the name Duc Thanh, so we ended up losing the market share,” he said. After more than a year pursuing the lawsuit, Vinamit has finally been able to savor the victory. “Vinamit is now recognized as the real owner of the Duc Thanh brand name,” the chairman happily said. “This marks a new chapter for the trading between Vietnam and China, as many Vietnamese businesses are set to open their representative offices in China, and send their products to the supermarkets there,” he added. Over the last few years, a number of Vietnamese well-known brand names such as Trung Nguyen coffee, Bibica confectionary, and Vinataba tobacco have been registered by Chinese firms.Knowing the rules Vien expressed his hope that Vinamit winning lawsuit will prove that Vietnamese businesses know how to react against the risks in Chinese market. “A number of Vietnamese brand names have been affected when their products are faked by their Chinese partners and sold at dirt cheap prices,” he said. He advised that Vietnamese businesses should penetrate the Chinese market with a brand name in Chinese, and should immediately register the intellectual property for it. “When their brand names are counterfeited, some don’t know how to get their brand names back, but I believe if they are determined, they will succeed in the brand disputes,” he asserted.

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