HCMC – IP Australia has issued trademark protection certificates to Vietnam’s ST24 and ST25 rice varieties developed primarily by Vietnamese agricultural engineer Ho Quang Cua.
IP Australia administers intellectual property (IP) rights and legislation relating to patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights.
Ho Quang Tri Private Enterprise, a business owned by Cua’s son, registered the trademark as Gao Ong Cua Vietnam with his smiling face in the logo. The registration is valid until June 2031 in Australia.
Ngan Tran, an IP expert at Maygust Trademark Attorneys, said the trademark could be renewed for another 10 years provided certain requirements are met, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
ST25 won the top place at the World’s Best Rice Contest in 2019 in the Philippines, while ST24 ranked second in the 2017 contest held in Macau, China.
T&L Global Foods Supply PTY LTD previously filed with the Australian authorities for the trademark registration of ST24 and ST25 rice in April 2021.
It is the sixth company worldwide to try to appropriate ST25, seeking to capitalize on the brand’s fame. The remaining five are in the U.S.
In May 2021, the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia wrote to IP Australia to object to T&L’s trademark registration. IP Australia has recently altered the status of the case to “Lapsed/Not Protected” on its website, suggesting that the firm’s application was refused.
After several businesses sought to register the ST25 trademark in the U.S. and Australia last year, Cua has been seeking international registrations for the grain ever since.
His brand has been successfully registered in the European Union and the UK.