An Apple logo blitz has been launched in Vietnam, with unauthorised stores told to remove the bitten apple from their signage.
Apple’s logo is commonplace on retail stores all over Vietnam where there is no company-owned Apple store as yet, and many retailers re-sell products parallel-imported from the US, Malaysia and Thailand, among other countries.
Apple has engaged local IP specialist consultancy Vo Tran to issues warnings to errant retailers.
The letters claims that recipients are not entitled to use the ‘bitten apple’ logo and the Apple and iPhone brands on their shop front signage because they are not authorised to sell or repair Apple products. Some stores, the company says, are even selling fake products under the Apple brand name.
Vo Tran has requested that the offending stores to stop using the Apple logo and brand name, as well as the sale of fake Apple products within seven days of receiving the ‘recommendation letter.’
Vo Thi Minh Tam, director of Vo Tran, confirmed that the move was part of a joint effort between the company and market watchdog in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
Le Ngoc Lam, deputy head of the intellectual property department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, also said that Apple’s request to the offending mobile shops is “totally legitimate”.
“Apple has registered protection of their products, services and brands throughout Vietnam, so they have full discretion on whether or not to allow an entity to use them,” Lam said.
Most shop owners who spoke to Vietnamese media about the letter considered the request “irrational” though, arguing it’s unreasonable to ban them from including the Apple logo on shop signs when they sell Apple products.
Some even suggested using the phonetic equivalents of the iPhone and iMac in Vietnamese as a response.
There are only a few companies authorised by Apple to provide its products and repair services in Vietnam. Among them are The Gioi Di Dong, Apple Service Provider (ASP), and F.Studio by FPT.