Last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Intellectual Property: Opening Way for Successful Start-upPosted: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The business start-up wave is rolling in many countries, including Vietnam. Start-ups are creative enough to generate new products and services with unique features and functionalities for the market. Creativity and uniqueness are the foundation to establish intellectual property rights of start-ups. Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Lawyer Le Xuan Thao, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Lawyers Association and General Director of T&T Invenmark Company. Thu Huyen reports.
When a new company is established, it will immediately face many competitors because they sell the same products but use different customer approach methods. It may thus incur a loss in business. Is there any doubt that intellectual property is vital to all companies now?
However, many start-up leaders make light of protection of intangible properties. They think that start-ups face a lot of difficulties in fulfilling administrative procedures and spend too much to operate their businesses, such as on marketing strategy, governance strategy, human resources system, business networking and human resources. These works place mounting pressures on start-up companies in addition to “invisible costs”. For this reason, establishing intellectual property rights and registering them for protection are deemed unnecessary at first. Moreover, start-up leaders usually care more about expertise, business and strategies rather than other intellectual property.
However, it seems that intellectual property disputes are growing?
Therefore, intellectual property right disputes are constantly intensified, not only by start-ups, but also by long-standing companies because of importance and profitability obtained from intellectual property. Therefore, in addition to long-term visions for business model, companies must have effective measures to protect intellectual property throughout their development process.
How can a start-up company protect intellectual property rights to avoid business risks and intellectual property disputes?
A company must be fully active with intellectual property rights or hire industrial property agents to register for establishment and protection of intellectual property rights. When violations are found, a start-up business must know how to protect its rights under the law (Article 198 of the Law on Intellectual Property). Then, it can ask competent authorities to handle violations with administrative, civil and criminal measures. In reality, when disputes arise, the matter is usually complicated and it may not have enough time to follow the suits, but hire professional expert agents to handle the case to ensure higher practicality and effect.
Many companies have spent decades pursuing a lawsuit, then have to accept failure or suffer enormous losses of reputation, prestige, sales and time because they did not register their intellectual property rights when they start a business. They even have their intellectual property stolen by others unknowingly.
Where is the best place for a start-up company to register for intellectual property to attract funds and successfully start a business?
Rights holders can examine rights status at the above-mentioned authorities with different administrative procedures for each item. However, a rights holder can authorise a representative unit to advise and act on its behalf to deal with legal procedures, supplement and change applications to establish industrial property rights or will coordinate with functional units to handle disputes, intellectual property infringement in the country and in the world.