- The trademark HWASUNG had been in use before Thien Phu filed the application for its registration. In Vietnam, except cases of well-known trademarks, rights over a mark can only be established on the basis of registration with the competent state authority. The use of a mark does not establish rights over that mark. In addition, because HWASUNG and SH-VINA are not the same company, the use of the mark by HWASUNG can not be assimilated to the use by SH-VINA, even though the first is a parent company contributing 40% of capital in the second.
- So the question raised in this case is whether SH-VINA could legitimately invoke the trade name of HWASUNG company and the use of the trademark HWASUNG by that company to cancel the registered Thien Phu’s trademark. The NOIP’s decision will hopefully answer to these questions.
The decision of the NOIP and other authorities will clarify the above raised questions. But until then, Thien Phu will remain the legitimate owner of the trademark HWASUNG and therefore has the right to engage anticounterfeiting procedures including seizure of suspected infringing goods, as the NOIP has rightly confirmed in its official letter.