Apple takes actions on unauthorised VN shopsThursday, April 13,2017
Apple Inc’s legal representative in Viet Nam, VOTRA Co Ltd, recently sent documents to Vietnamese phone stores on their illegal use of the brand’s trademark on shop banners and advertisements without Apple’s permission.
The Apple legal representatives mentioned stores using the “half-eaten apple” logo, trademarks “Apple”, “iPhone” or other names such as “Apple Store”, “App Store”, “iPad”, “iPod” and “MacBook”, which are protected in Viet Nam.
The Vietnamese representative of the US technology company requested the stores stop using Apple’s trademark within seven days of receiving the letter.
VOTRA also asked the stores to stop selling fake products under the Apple brand name.
Apple has increased its presence in Viet Nam since the end of 2015 when opening an office in HCM City. In 2016, Apple hired VOTRA as its legal representative.
Nguyen Ngoc Duy My from attorney office TriLaw in HCM City told news website ndh.vn that under Article 123 of Viet Nam’s Intellectual Property Law 2005, trademark owners have the right to use, allow or prevent others from using their trademark.
"Because of these rights, if Apple did not give written permission to allow others (in this case Vietnamese stores) to use its trademarks, these stores do not have the right to use them in any form,” said My.
The representatives of TriLaw also noted that just because a store sold Apple products did not mean they could use Apple’s trademarks without written consent.
In term of fines, the lawyer said shops could be fined from VND500,000 (US$22) to VND250 million ($11,000) depending on the level of their violation, business scale and commodity value.
Violators could also receive other punishments such as business suspension from one to three months, material confiscation, or be forced to destroy the infringing goods, she added.