Property developer Vincom sues rival over brand name

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Local property developer Vincom Joint-Stock Co. has filed a lawsuit against another real estate company for using a similar brand name that it says can mislead customers.

Le Khac Hiep, chairman of Vincom, said his company found that the Vincon Real Estate and Finance Investment company was violating intellectual property regulations because it used a name that was too similiar.

Vincom said the fact that both companies are in the same industry and the names are almost identical can cause confusion and have negative impacts on Vincom. It also said this is an unhealthy practice.

Hiep said Vincon was trying to take advantage of the confusion and benefit from his company's good reputation. He noted that the Vincom brand name has been registered in Vietnam and more than 20 other countries.

He said when Vincon announced a tourism project in 2009, it was mistaken by several newspapers as Vincom. "We have asked its managers to change the name but Vincom did not respond satisfactorily. Therefore we've decided to bring the issue to court."

Hiep said the lawsuit has reached the Hanoi People's Court. At the same time, his company has also asked for a ruling from the National Office of Intellectual Property on the name.

Nguyen Thanh Hong, an official at the Intellectual Property Office, said the case was being considered. Hong commented that confusion in this case is very likely.

Analysts say that this lawsuit and its outcome can become a milestone in Vietnam, where many companies have the same or very similar names and intellectual property violations are widespread.

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