Explaining the New Regulations of Foreign Contractor Withholding Tax on Trade Marks in Vietnam

shutterstock_81193486-520x345In today’s blog post we asked our IP expert Mr. Son Doan to clarify the provisions of the Official Letter on taxing the transfer of the right to use trade marks, issued by the Ministry of  Finance of Vietnam. 

On 7 November 2016 the Ministry of Finance of Vietnam issued the Official Letter 15888/BCT-CST to provide detailed guidance on foreign contractor withholding tax (FCWT) applicable to income of foreign contractors from transfer of right to use a trade mark. According to the Official Letter:

  • Pursuant to the Law on Intellectual Property, when a Vietnamese party uses a trade mark and makes payments to a foreign party for the transfer of use right, this should be considered as transfer of the right to use a trade marks in accordance with the Law on Intellectual Property, distinguishable from the assignment intellectual property rights.
  • As a result the income of foreign contractors from transfer of the rights to use a trade mark should be subject to FCWT with applicable tax rates as follows:
    • CIT rate on taxable revenue is 10%
    • VAT rate is 10% (if foreign contractor declare VAT under the credit method) or 5% (if foreign contractors declare VAT under the deemed method).

This means that if a foreign owner fully transfers the ownership of a trade mark to a Vietnamese party, there will be no taxes applied. However, if the foreign company merely grants the right to use the brand to the local Vietnamese businesses, then Vietnam tax authorities will collect the CIT and also the VAT.  Continue reading “Explaining the New Regulations of Foreign Contractor Withholding Tax on Trade Marks in Vietnam” »

Patent Protection Case Study: The Importance of a Robust IP Enforcement Strategy

shutterstock_166598477_blueEnforcing your patent rights in China could oftentimes be challenging as counterfeiters are also getting smarter and more innovative over time. However, if a European SME has a good IP enforcement strategy in place, it is possible to successfully defend your business against patent infringers. In today’s blog post we are taking a look at a case study involving a Spanish SMEs that experienced some issues with patent infringements. This case study shows the importance of a good IP enforcement strategy for the business success.

Case Background 

A Spanish SME in the scientific research and development industry has patents around the world and in China on certain cutting edge surgical instruments. At an international exposition of surgical instruments the Spanish Company discovers a Chinese company advertising their patented products under the name of the Chinese company. The Spanish company obtains flyers and photos of the products. However, the Spanish company is also concerned that the Chinese company might have defensive utility model patents in place. Since, utility model patents are approved quickly (usually within one year) and do require official examination on novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability, this could potentially bar the Spanish company from entering the Chinese market. Continue reading “Patent Protection Case Study: The Importance of a Robust IP Enforcement Strategy” »

Trade Mark Revocation in Singapore: A Case Study

tmEuropean SMEs who have fallen victims to bad faith trade mark registration in Singapore and elsewhere in South-East Asia have some opportunities of getting their trade mark back without having to pay a lot of ‘ransom’ money. If the unscrupulous company who registered the trade mark in bad faith  does not put the trade mark into genuine use, European SMEs could initiate a trade mark revocation process. in today’s blog post we are taking a look at the process of trade mark revocation in Singapore by analyzing an interesting case study.  

Trade Mark Protection in Singapore

Registered trade marks enjoy statutory protection in Singapore under the Singapore Trade Marks Act, which also recognizes three-dimensional signs (shapes) and sounds as trade marks, however trade marks based on taste and smell are not yet recognized and not registrable in Singapore. Singapore operates under a ‘first-to-file’ system meaning that the first company to register the trade mark will own the trade mark irrespective of the first use. This means that early application for trade marks, ideally before the release of products and services into Singaporean market is recommended.

Applications for trade mark registration in Singapore can be submitted in English to the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and the application fee is 341 SGD (228 EUR) if the application is filed online. IPOS will assess the application to ensure that all formalities are met before conducting the relevant searches and examination to ensure that the mark applied for is registrable. Once this is completed, the application will be published and, provided no oppositions are filed against the application within two months of publication, the trade mark will proceed to registration. Once registered, statutory protection for registered marks can last indefinitely, although renewal applications must be filed every ten years. Continue reading “Trade Mark Revocation in Singapore: A Case Study” »

IPR Protection Strategies within the Healthcare Sector in China

The healthcare sector in China is developing rapidly as the rising middle class becomes more and more concerned about quality healthcare services, which are currently quite scarce in China. This, on the other hand,  provides many opportunities for the European SMEs active in the healthcare sector. However, SMEs should pay attention to protecting their IP rights when entering to the lucrative market of China because counterfeiting and other IP infringements still persist in China. For today’s blog post we have chosen to share with you an infographic that will provide you with a basic and easy to read  overview of IP protection in the healthcare sector in China.

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Trade Mark Protection in Myanmar: A Case Study

imageedit_1_8961851529In today’s blog post we are taking a look at the trade mark protection in Myanmar, a country that is in the process of modernizing its IP laws. Even though  Myanmar has published a new Draft Trade Mark Law back in 2015, the law has still not yet come to force and in the meantime EU SMEs still  need to protect their IP in Myanmar. This blog post offers some advice on how to protect your trade mark and the design of your package in Myanmar by focusing on a recent case study. 

Trade Mark Regime in Myanmar

Compared to other South-East Asian countries, Myanmar currently has the weakest IP laws and regulations in place. Myanmar is not yet a signatory of any multilateral trade mark treaty. However, in accordance with the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) , to which it has acceded, Myanmar is required to implement and comply with Articles 1-12, Article 19 of the Paris Convention and the terms of TRIPS by no later than 1st July 2021. Myanmar is now in the process of drafting several IP laws

Currently, there is still neither a particular statute nor law on trade marks, nor specific provisions regarding the registration of trade marks in Myanmar. However, the Penal Code of Myanmar defines a trade mark as “a mark used for denoting that goods are the manufactured merchandise of a particular person”. Likewise, the Private Industrial Enterprise Law provides that “a business is not allowed to distribute or sell its goods without trademark”. At present, foreign companies doing business in Myanmar have been relying on these laws to enforce their IP rights relating to trade mark. Continue reading “Trade Mark Protection in Myanmar: A Case Study” »