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ST25 rice developer to trademark new brand in the US

By Phuong Anh, Anh Minh   May 8, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
ST25 rice developer to trademark new brand in the US
The logo of Gao Ong Cua is displayed on the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Photo by VnExpress/Dat Nguyen.
The Vietnamese developer of ST25, a rice variety that was adjudged the world’s best in 2019, has registered to trademark a new brand in the U.S.

He has done so even as he tries to establish his claim to the original brand that six foreign companies are trying to trademark.

A company in southern Vietnam has registered to trademark "Gao Ong Cua" (Mr. Cua’s Rice) in the U.S. The new brand name refers to rice developed by farmer-scientist Ho Quang Cua.

Ho Quang Tri Ltd., based in southern Soc Trang Province where the ST25 rice is grown., is run by Cua’s son.

The logo for the new trademark has the smiling face of Cua with rice paddies underneath and the brand name on the left.

A law firm representing Cua and his son’s company in trademarking matters told VnExpress that the new registration is part of the company’s strategy and no further details can be revealed at present.

Even as it register’s the new brand, the company is still opposing the trademarking of ST25 rice in the U.S. by a California company, I&T Enterprise, Inc, said Ken D. Duong, CEO of the law firm TDL.

"There is still a chance to reclaim the ST25 brand," said Duong.

Cua had earlier this month proposed to give the copyright of the ST25 rice to the Vietnamese government. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is seeking permission from the government on this issue because such a request is unprecedented.

The ST25 rice is the result of 25 years of work by Cua and his colleagues. It is described as having a sweet taste with a hint of pineapple flavor.

It won the World's Best Rice title in the Philippines in 2019, marking the first time a Vietnamese rice variety had claimed top spot in the contest’s 11-year history.

At least six companies have applied to trademark the ST25 brand overseas, including five in the U.S. and one in Australia.

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