Thứ Ba, 19 tháng 3, 2019

The Regulation on Science and Technology Enterprises in Vietnam

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , No comments

The science and technology enterprises (S&T Enterprises) means an enterprise implementing production and business science and technology service to make a goods or product from results of science research and technology development. The S&T Enterprise’s operation is based on the successful application and exploitation of research process in itself or the results of scientific and technological research from the scientists, organizations or research results transferred from abroad that they have the lawful ownership use rights. The Government issued the Decree No. 13/2019/ND-CP dated on February 01st, 2019 on science and technology enterprises.

The setting up of S&T Enterprises in Vietnam is only acceptable when meeting the following conditions for granting Certificates of science and technology enterprise, which is acting as operation license as well as basis for implementing the incentives and support policy for investment and takes effect nationwide: i) Established and operated under the Law on Enterprises; ii) Being able to create or apply scientific and technological results which are evaluated, appraised and recognized by competent authorities; iii) Obtaining turnover form the production of, and dealing in, products and goods created from scientific and technological results for at least 30% of the total turnover. This condition shall apply in case the enterprises is established to or more 5 years.
Certificate of science and technology enterprise is issued by the Department of Science and Technology or National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATECH) belonging to the Ministry of Science and Technology depending on each specific case.
One of the important provisions related to the S&T Enterprises of Decision No. 844/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister dated on May 18th, 2016 on approval for “Assistance policies on national innovative startup ecosystem to 2025” stipulates for continuing to implement the Project of Vietnamese Silicon Valley. This Project have been creating the most favourable conditions for development of the S&T Enterprises and encouraging S&T Enterprises to research, improve their goods or product to meet the demands of market.

With the application of scientific research results and technological development into production and business activities, S&T Enterprises not only bring new high quality products which are able to compete with imported goods, but also encourage science and technology research and application into production and business. S&T Enterprises are entitled to enjoy preferential on enterprise income tax exemption and reduction; exemption and reduction of land and water surface rent; credit incentives;… and especially supporting research activities and commercialization of new scientific and technological results supplemented by Decree No. 13/2019/ND-CP.
The promotion of commercialization of science and technology results contributes actively to the development of the science and technology market, facilitates the application of research results to real life. Every year, Vietnam has thousands of research results and inventions from universities, research institutes, research centers, domestic research groups and foreign organizations and individuals registered in Vietnam. But very few research results are applied to production or commercial products on the market. In order to resolve this situation, the Vietnamese Government supports the S&T Enterprises through policies on enjoying import and export tax; use of research equipment in national key laboratories, technology incubators,… of the State; investment preferences of the Scientific and Technological Development Fund and other funds; priority to participate in projects to support the commercialization of the results of science and technology, intellectual property of the State;… as stipulated in Decree No. 13/2019/ND-CP and relevant legal documents.

Thứ Sáu, 15 tháng 3, 2019

When does a business owner not need to worry about registering its intellectual property?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments

There are not many instances where I would suggest a business owner not worry about protecting their intellectual property. If a product is not a new, innovative product, there is no need to worry about a patent, but trademarking the brand may still be critical to compete and stand out.

If a business owner has a local shop with no plans for interstate expansion, and they do not care if someone in another state has a company with the same name, they may be satisfied with their state’s trademark registry, rather than the federal registry. However, an interstate competitor may have other ideas about expansion and enforcement of its own rights. In those cases, it matters who used the name in commerce first, but it also matters who registered the name first. The outcome can result in a geographic split, but these outcomes are usually the result of expensive litigation that could have prevented with earlier planning.

Thứ Tư, 13 tháng 3, 2019

When can an owner of copyright or trademark use “notice symbols” on their products, such as ©, ®, or TM?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , , , No comments

For copyrightable works, the owner can place the copyright designation – the “C in a circle” © - on her work from the moment the work is created, and include the year and her name. For example: © 2017 Jane Doe. A copyright notice can be used whether or not the work is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. The notice is not required, but it puts the public on notice of her intent to claim and enforce her copyright.
A trademark owner can always use the “TM” mark on its goods and services, to put the public on notice of his intent to claim and enforce his trademark rights. The “R in a circle” – ® - is reserved only for federally registered trademarks. If you register your trademark with your state trademark registry, but not the USPTO, you may only use the “TM” mark.

I always recommend using the appropriate symbols as soon as you put your product to market. Whether you have registered them yet or not, this gives the public notice that you have considered your intellectual property protections and are prepared to enforce them.

Source: Forbes

Thứ Hai, 11 tháng 3, 2019

What are the critical steps to take, to protect your business’s intellectual property?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments

If you are a business owner, be sure your member agreement states that all intellectual property developed by members, shareholders, etc. belongs solely to the company and that members who develop  any intellectual property will execute any and all documents necessary to protect the company’s rights. This is particularly important in smaller businesses where the owners are the ones developing most or all of the creative ideas. Also, be sure that any employees and independent contractors who will work with trade secrets sign strong non-disclosure and non-competition agreements, because there is no registration for trade secrets (such as recipes and non-patentable formulas). Trade Secrets are protected only as long as they remain secret.

For example, our firm has done corporate, regulatory, and intellectual property work for almost 100 start-up breweries. We prepare these types of agreements all the time, to protect their beer recipes and formulas. We also register trademarks for their brewery names and beer brands whenever possible.

Also if possible, register it with the USPTO, U.S. Copyright Office, or in some cases, your state’s trademark registry or international registries. In some cases, a trademark is eligible for an early application before your business even opens, so take advantage of obtaining that earlier filing date. Just be aware there will be subsequent filing requirements after your business opens.

Register your copyrights on written works, including computer codes, screenplays, and artwork, and register them early. Statutory damages and attorney’s fees are usually not recoverable in an infringement action if the copyright was not registered before the infringement occurred or within 3 months of publication.

If you developed an innovative product, speak with a patent attorney about whether the product qualifies for patent protection (only attorneys who have passed a separate patent bar exam are qualified to work with patents). If the product does not qualify for patent protection, find other ways to make your product stand out, including through strong trademark branding and enforcement.

Thứ Năm, 7 tháng 3, 2019

What are some of the common reasons why business owners don't move forward to protect their intellectual property?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments

If you've ever developed a new product or formulated a new business idea, you've most likely grappled with the question of whether you should to protect it legally in some way.  It can be a confusing issue, for sure, and many of the small business owners and entrepreneurs I meet don't seem to have a solid grasp of how, why and when to protect their products, or if it's even necessary.

There are a many reasons people hesitate to make intellectual property protection a priority when they are just starting a new business. They include:
1. It is another startup cost, one which is sometimes viewed as “non-essential,” simply because it is not legally required to operate the business.
2. They are unsure whether the business or product will “take off,” so they think they might not even need it.
3. They don’t anticipate anyone attempting to copy them.
4. They do not know what types of protections may be available for their products or brands.
5. They seek to keep costs down by utilizing free or inexpensive online resources.
Protecting intellectual property correctly is not simple, and many times the examining attorneys at the government agencies have questions or raise unexpected issues on the applications. That is why professional help is so important. It can be costly or limiting in the long run to skip these steps.

Thứ Hai, 4 tháng 3, 2019

How can business owners know when to protect an idea?

BY Pham Thuy Linh No comments

If you've ever developed a new product or formulated a new business idea, you've most likely grappled with the question of whether you should to protect it legally in some way.  It can be a confusing issue, for sure, and many of the small business owners and entrepreneurs I meet don't seem to have a solid grasp of how, why and when to protect their products, or if it's even necessary.

As soon as you start taking steps to implement a business or product idea, such as incorporating, obtaining state or federal licenses, or securing production of a product, you should identify which aspects of your business and products are protectable by trademarkcopyrightpatent, or trade secret. Each of these types of intellectual property requires different procedures to protect them from unfair competition and copycats, which is why it is important to consult a professional. You or your attorney will need to research whether anyone else already has exclusive rights to the brand names or products you want to develop. A conflict search should include a thorough search of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) searchable database, or for copyrights, the U.S. Copyright Office’s searchable public catalog.

You should also search your state’s registries, if they have them. For instance, Florida has a searchable online trademark registry, but for California state trademarks, you must call the office of the California Secretary of State and ask them to conduct a search via phone. A thorough search must also include the internet and social media, for potentially competing uses that started before you. Even if they are not registered, they could still have certain rights that supersede yours.
Source: Forber

Thứ Sáu, 1 tháng 3, 2019

Should I trademark nationally or internationally if I will be taking clients worldwide?

BY Pham Thuy Linh IN , , , No comments

Trademarks are intangible assets, and can be bought, sold or licensed, making your company more valuable Trademark establishes a link between enterprise and customer.  A strong trademark will attract customers to use goods or services.

However, you have to analyze your company to determine the value in seeking trademark protection in foreign countries. An experienced intellectual property (IP) attorney is the best person to speak to regarding this decision. There is a mechanism for obtaining a trademark in other countries: the  Madrid Protocol

To sum it up, you should first file for a trademark in your home country. From there, your country will forward it to WIPO. After WIPO examines it, and hopefully approve it, it will send you a certificate of your international registration and notify the IP Offices in all the territories where you seek trademark protection in. The last step is for those territories to make a decision within the time limit (12 or 18 months) in accordance with their own rules. WIPO will record the decisions of the IP Offices in the International Register and notify you when they are made. If a particular Office refuses to grant protection, you can contest a refusal decision directly before it. Conversely, if an IP Office accepts to protect your mark, it will issue a statement of grant of protection.