Saigon Cosmetics Corporation (SCC) began as a small business about twenty eight year ago and is currently considered as a leading cosmetic manufacturer in Vietnam. SCC specializes in manufacturing perfumes, shampoos, soaps, and other detergents. In addition to the Vietnamese market SCC products are also marketed in Australia, Cambodia, China, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. Apart from being a respectable manufacturer of cosmetics in its own right, SCC has entered into agreements with foreign cosmetics corporations to distribute make-up and skin-care products in Vietnam.
While many factors can be attributed to the current success of SCC, the company strongly believes that its early awareness on the importance of effective use of the intellectual property (IP) system played a key role in the now widely acclaimed success.
Product recognition and a wide base of loyal clientele are a necessity if one is to compete successfully in the highly competitive cosmetic market. SCC realized this fact quite early and embarked on a strategy of paying close attention to IP matters. Since 1991, SCC consciously started to actively seek the benefits associated with the effective use of IP.
Using the services of professional and reliable IP agencies, SCC made sure that the IP aspects of its products were legally protected before launching them to the market. As a result, SCC currently possesses 200 IPR titles, including trademarks, industrial designs and licenses to use the IP rights of others. In addition, SCC has 40 IPR titles and licensing agreements in 15 foreign countries.
Some trademark applications in foreign markets were made by using the services offered by the Madrid System for the International Registration of Trademarks. In particular, this was the case for one of SCC's leading brands which was recently filed for registration in 5 countries using the Madrid system. This system gives a trademark owner the possibility of having its mark protected in several countries by simply filing one application with a single Office, in one language, with one set of fees in one currency. Nevertheless, membership of the Madrid system is still limited among SCC's foreign markets. In addition, a number of countries to which SCC is exporting are members of the Madrid Protocol while Vietnam is a member of the Madrid Agreement (details on the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol may be found at: http://www.wipo.int/madrid/en/index.html), making it necessary for SCC to apply for protection in each country separately through the national IP offices.
All these activities have enabled SCC to maintain exclusivity over the use of its trademarks and industrial designs, enhance customer recognition of its products and at the same time broaden its loyal clientele. At the same time, SCC has been careful not to infringe on the IP rights of others.
However, success does not come without challenges and SCC has its own share of challenges. These challenges are in the form of time and resources needed to register, monitor and enforce the acquired IPRs. SCC has faced a number of cases of IPR violations from individuals and enterprises that have sought to "free ride" on their legally protected IP rights. Such challenges exist in both the domestic and foreign markets and SCC has, in some cases, encountered important constraints in enforcing its IP rights over infringers.
But one thing is clear to managers at SCC, and that is, that without investing in the protection of its IP assets it would have been significantly easier for free riders to take advantage of SCC's ingenuity, creativity and reputation making it more difficult, if not impossible, for the company to establish itself as a leader in cosmetic manufacturing in Vietnam. Furthermore, it would have also been difficult to enter into licensing agreements with foreign cosmetics corporations to distribute their make-up and skin-care products in Vietnam.
For more information on Saigon Cosmetic Corporation, please contact:
Ms. Ivy Phuong Tran
Head Office: 1099 Tran Hung Dao St., Dist. 5,
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tel: (84.8) 8366977 (Ext. 231) - Fax: (84.8) 9235181