Update: 17:45 | 25/12/2021
The E.U. and the U.K. have approved the trademark for ST25, the Vietnamese rice variety that was adjudged the world’s best in 2019, within five months of submission.
"I was surprised submission was approved so quickly," Ho Quang Cua, referring to the ‘Gao Ong Cua’ trademark for the variety he developed.
He is also in the process of registering it in Australia, mainland China and Hong Kong.
A person looks at a pack of ST25 rice in Ho Chi Minh City.
In Vietnam, authorities have not responded to his trademark application submitted seven months ago, he said.
He has not even received word on the registration of the letters ‘ST’ for the rice 18 months after submission.
"I know the Covid-19 pandemic has caused difficulties for authorities. But I hope they speed up the process to prevent piracy".
Registration certificates of Gao Ong Cua in the U.K. and the E.U.
ST25 was the result of 25 years of work by Cua and his colleagues.
It won the World's Best Rice title in the Philippines, marking the first time a Vietnamese variety had claimed top spot in the contest’s then 11-year history.
In the second quarter of this year alone, at least six companies have applied for a trademark for the ST25 brand, five in the U.S. and one in Australia, prompting Cua to trademark it abroad.