The Vietnam Trade Office (VTO) in Australia has sent an official letter enclosed with documents and photos to the IP Australia to clarify that the ST24 and ST25 rice varieties were researched and produced by Vietnamese scientists and granted trademark protection certificates in the country.
On April 22, a company named T&L Global Foods Supply PTY Ltd., located at 420 Victoria Rd Malaga, WA, 6090 Australia filed an application for protection of the rice trademarks ST24 and ST25 with the content of “Rice, the World’s Best Rice”.
In fact, both the ST24 and ST25 rice varieties were developed in Vietnam by Ho Quang Cua and his colleagues. They have won high prizes in world rice contests, and widely recognized in international markets, including Australia’s.
The VTO in Australia discussed with scientist Ho Quang Cua for coordination in protecting the trademarks and contacted leaders of the T&L Global foods Supply PTY Ltd. who said they will check the matter with the company’s trademark department.
The VTO in Australia asked IP Australia to consider the matter to avoid possible disputes, affecting the export of ST24, ST25 rice from Vietnam to this market. The Office is also discussing with Australian lawyers to prepare next steps in accordance with IP Australia’s regulations.
If the circumstance becomes worse, the VTO in Australia will collect opinions from business networks, associations and press in Australia to take an overall action plan.
Nguyen Phu Hoa, head of the VTO in Australia also emphasized that Ho Quang Cua should speed up carrying out necessary procedures to coordinate in settling this case and protecting trademarks for his products. Even in case the T&L Global Food Supply PTY Ltd. withdraws from this dispute, it is likely to see other companies that will take the same move in Australia.- (VLLF)