Science Ministry's authority over trademarks partly reinstated
The Vietnamese government has promulgated Decree 28/2004/ND-CP amending and supplementing some provisions of Decree 54/2003/ND-CP, which provided, among other things, that the Ministry of Trade, instead of the National Office of Industrial Property (NOIP) - a body of the Ministry of Science and Technology - would be in charge of trademark registration, opposition, cancellation and appeal procedures (see Ministry of Trade to take over as trademark registry). At the same time, the NOIP's name was amended to National Office of Intellectual Property.
The new decree provides that:
- the Ministry of Science and Technology retains the authority to organize the settlement of industrial property litigation, including related trade litigation;
- the Ministry of Science and Technology will (i) resume implementing state regimes, policies and laws in relation to trademark matters, and (ii) ensure the uniform management of trademark matters throughout the country; and
- the NOIP will assist the Ministry of Science and Technology in the exercise of the responsibilities stated above, particularly:
- o the implementation of the functions of the state body authorized to issue certificates of protection for trademarks;
o the suspension, cancellation and extension of the validity of certificates of protection;
o the registration of contracts for transfer of trademark ownership or rights to use; and
o the adoption of measures for protection of the legitimate interests of the state, organizations and individuals with respect to trademarks.
Le Hoai Duong, LÊ & LÊ, Hanoi
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