Ninh Thuan province’s Phan Rang garlic has been granted a collective trademark (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Lack of attention to registering brand names and geographical indications is causing difficulties to Vietnamese agricultural products, which are sometimes shut out of other markets after their names are usurped by others, heard a recent seminar.

Vietnam is an agricultural nation with many excellent products with the best quality in the world, Nguyen Hong Ly, Vice Chairwoman of Vietnam Farmers Union (VFU), said at the “Intellectual property rights for Vietnamese agricultural products” seminar held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 31.

However, only a few localities, organisations and enterprises have internationally registered intellectual property rights, and only some have become internationally prestigious ones, she added.

According to Ly, Vietnam there are around 800 prestigious agricultural, forestry and seafood products in 720 localities but only 50 geographical indications and 140 brand names have been registered.

Ly pointed out that prestigious brand names make tracing origins easy.

She said intellectual property rights bring prestige to products and affect prices and buyers’ preferences, but Vietnamese enterprises and organisations have not focused on them. Farmers have no knowledge about intellectual property rights and procedures to register seem very complicated.

“We must change the situation by providing education and information about the importance of intellectual property rights and make all related authorities and farmers aware of them,” Ly stressed.

Intellectual property rights will protect the reputation of specialities and brand names, prevent fake products, encourage diversified production, stabilise rural areas, and make users notice good products, she affirmed.

Prof Vo Tong Xuan, principal of South Can Tho University, emphasised to ensure the effective protection of intellectual property rights for Vietnamese agricultural products, it is necessary to build connection between farmers, entrepreneurs, scientists and managers, which helps create a close, effective distribution network in the domestic market and enhance products’ competitiveness in the world market.

Besides, he suggested localities subsidise and assist farmers in registering intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property rights and brand names will be among the most important assets for an enterprise, he said, adding Vietnamese enterprises and organisations should pay attention to increasing the value of their brand names and protecting their intellectual property rights.

In recent times, the VFU at levels have implemented numerous activities supporting farmers to build brand names for their farm produce, thus promoting consumption. After being registered intellectual property rights, products are sold at higher prices of 1.5 – 2 times. - VNA