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 Prosecution Highway Pilot Program and Patent Information Data Exchange Between Vietnam and Japan


patent-prosecution-highwayToday’s blog post has been kindly drafted for us by our IPR experts Mr. Max Ng and  Ms. Amira Nabila Budiyano from the Gateway Law Corporation, who will discuss the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program between Vietnam and Japan. The Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program is important as it can accelerate the examination of patent applications in Vietnam. The experts will explain how the Patent Prosecution Highway works and how SMEs from Europe and around the world can benefit from the program.  

Background 

One of the problems currently faced by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (“NOIP”) is the increasing backlog of patent applications, which is one of the main reasons for the delayed examination of patent applications in Vietnam. This may adversely affect the quality of patent examination, as the bigger the backlog, the less time the examiners would have for reviewing the patent applications. The backlog of patent applications may further hinder the innovation process of the country while also posing a real concern to foreign businesses and investors wanting to venture into the Vietnam market. The Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program between the NOIP and the Japan Patent Office (“JPO”), which came into effect on 1 April 2016, is therefore a much welcomed move by the NOIP to cope with the increasing backlog and accelerate examination of patent applications in Vietnam. Continue reading “Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Program and Patent Information Data Exchange Between Vietnam and Japan” »

New Developments in Vietnamese IP Regulations on Internet Domain Names

shutterstock_167099189In today’s blog post we take a  look at the recent developments in Vietnamese IP regulations concerning Internet Domain names and analyse the implications of these regulations to the European SMEs. 

On the 8 June 2016 the Ministry of Information and Communication and the Ministry of Science and Technology issued a Joint Circular on the amendment and recovery of domain names which breach the law on intellectual property.  The Joint Circular introduces a set of administrative proceedings that are available under the Vietnamese Law on Intellectual Property, for companies experiencing internet domain name infringement disputes. Such measures include clear deadlines for infringers to ensure they stop their activities and return the domain names to their rightful owners, as well as steps that the authorities can take if the infringers refuse to obey these regulations. Continue reading “New Developments in Vietnamese IP Regulations on Internet Domain Names” »

Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam

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EU-VietnamFTA – An increasingly hot topic in South-East Asia

Brief overview of the advantages of FTA

In recent decades Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) have become more and more prolific in South-East Asia as nations strive to boost the volume of trade. FTAs are considered to be beneficial, as they; enhance trading opportunities, increase exports, create stronger ties between trading partners, offer new opportunities for foreign investment and wider economic integration by lowering trade barriers and harmonizing legal and regulatory systems through the application of international standards.

On-going FTA negotiations in South-East Asia

The instrument of FTAs is widely used by various governments. Currently, there is a great number of FTAs (almost 40 according to World Trade Organization (WTO)) already in the implementation phase in the South-East Asia region and many more in the negotiation phase. Vietnam, for example, is included in the implementation of at least 12 FTAs and has recently initialled 4 more FTAs, including the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA). The European Union (EU) has worked towards establishing FTAs with a number of South-East Asian countries in order to boost trade in a more predictable environment for trade and investment relations. Following the conclusion of the EU-Singapore FTA in 2014, negotiations with Vietnam were completed in December 2015 – the same month in which negotiations for an FTA with the Philippines were launched. The EU also remains committed to resuming negotiations with Malaysia and Thailand when conditions are right. It has also concluded the scoping exercise with Indonesia and is working towards the opening of FTA negotiations. This article will take a closer look at the changes that the EVFTA will implement in relation to IPR and what this may mean for European SMEs. Continue reading “Benefits of an FTA in South-East Asia from SMEs’ perspective: experience from Vietnam” »

Espresso IP 7: Trade marks in Vietnam

espressoIP-01Bond. James Bond. A man of mystery and a very high-profile name in films. When protecting this highly classified name, Bond’s creators have consistently turned to brands’ best IP friend–trade marks, which protect the logos and symbols that identify products.

In this podcast, hosts Alexander Bayntun-Lees and Samuel Sabasteanski discuss the intellectual property laws governing trade marks in Vietnam and how to have infringers shaking (not stirred) in their boots. As always, for more information on protecting your IP, send our South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk experts a message.

 

Espresso IP 007 – Trade marks in Vietnam (Length – 7:37)