Impossible for foreign enterprises to trademark Vietnamese rice "ST25": intellectual property office

Saturday, 2021-04-24 11:03:11
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ST25 rice and its founder engineer Ho Quang Cua.
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NDO – It is impossible for foreign companies to register Vietnamese rice "ST25" as an exclusive trademark protection, as affirmed by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP).

Against the information related to the ST25 rice brand name registered by a business in the US, the office confirmed US enterprises cannot trademark the world’s best rice ST25 since it is a generic variety and not a brand.

The trademark "VIETNAM'S ST25 RICE, DAC SAN SOC TRANG" was filed in the US on September 1, 2020, according to registration application number 90151727 of Transword Foods, Inc.

However, the NOIP stressed that the mark "ST25" cannot be registered for trademark protection exclusively in the US for any individual or organisation, because US law does not protect the trademark for the plant variety and as ST25 is the name collectively used to refer to a variety of rice.

The ST25 rice variety was granted Protection Certificate No. 21.VN.2020 according to Decision No. 45/QĐ-TT-VPBH dated March 6, 2020 of the Director of Department of Crop Production (under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) for the private business Ho Quang Tri and rice breeders Ho Quang Cua, Tran Tan Phuong and Nguyen Thi Thu Huong.

On November 20, 2020, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced its intention to refuse the trademark "VIETNAM'S ST25 RICE, DAC SAN SOC TRANG" as mentioned above.

However, if for any reason, "ST25" is registered for exclusive trademark protection for rice products, the organisations and individuals involved may object to this registration application.

Created by engineer Ho Quang Cua and his colleagues, Vietnam's high-end ST25 rice was honoured as the world's best rice in 2019, after it won the top prize at the World's Best Rice Contest in the Philippines that year, marking the first time a Vietnamese rice variety won the title in the contest’s 11-year history.