Washington, DC. The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) recently supported a series of workshops for business leaders, lawyers and IP policy makers in Vietnam. With coordination from STAR-Vietnam and technical expertise from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, four, one-day workshops were held in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Haiphong, and Hanoi on trademark procedures.

Approximately 500 participants took part in the workshops, consisting mainly of business leaders, lawyers and government officials. In addition to reviewing Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) requirements on trademarks, these workshops provided a basic overview of the importance of trademarks as a business development tool and of the procedures for registering trademarks in the U.S. and Vietnam.

Participants expressed understanding that the Untied States is trying to work with the Vietnamese as responsibly as possible on IP issues. The workshops included demonstrations of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, which showed that several controversial alleged preemptive applications in the U.S. for well-known Vietnamese trademarks had been rejected and the rightful Vietnamese owners of the trademarks had been accepted.

IIPI’s recent effort is a follow-up to judicial training workshops conducted in June of 2003 and previous capacity building in October of 2002. Those workshops, attended by numerous judges of the Supreme People’s Court, were dedicated to legal and institutional arrangements for the resolution of IP disputes. The judicial workshops were coordinated by STAR-Vietnam, a USAID-funded initiative devoted to assisting Vietnam in meeting its obligations under the BTA. The recently adopted Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement requires TRIPS-level protection for U.S. intellectual property. IIPI is committed to provide training and assistance to Vietnam to enable it to meets its obligations under the BTA, and help to ensure that Vietnam can begin to prosper from a healthy intellectual property regime.

Photo © Pham Thi Lan Anh 2007