16:09 | 07/05/2015 Science - Technology
(VEN) - The National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP) under the Ministry of Scientific and Technology (MoST) recently held a talk on intellectual property (IP). This was the first activity held on the occasion of MoST’s one-month campaign marking World Intellectual Property Day launched.
Vietnam lacks specialized IP workforce
Three thousand applications stagnant
NOIP received 83,436 dossiers including applications for IP protection registrations which increased by 7.8 percent in 2014. NOIP also handled 74,817 applications, an increase of 17 percent compared with 2013. The number of patent registration applications has grown by 10 percent annually over the past few years. However, applications from Vietnamese businesses remain low due to the poor quality of the applications, accounting for only 10 percent of 4,400 patent registration applications and only three percent of the granted exclusive patents.
Director of the Center for Research and Training at the NOIP Nguyen Van Bay said the center last year handled 30,000 trademark registration applications out of the 33,000 received due to a lack of human resources. The problem is the lack of a specialized workforce amid the increasing number of registration applications in recent years, which led to the center being overloaded. It takes five years plus experience in real cases to train staff to handle normal applications. Another difficulty is that Vietnam also lacks training classes for experts on IP. Therefore, to have sufficient human resources to fulfill tasks in the business, NOIP still has to train by itself or seek assistance from international resources.
In reality, investment from the state in this field has not matched the rapid growth of the economy as well as social awareness on IP. The number of registration applications has increased sharply while the number of state employees has remained limited. Therefore, NOIP is planning to recruit about 70 IP experts to handle the outstanding applications made in recent years.
A specialized court needed
According to Deputy Head of the NOIP Le Ngoc Lam, NOIP’s staff members were often invited to provide legal advice in courts relating to IP disputes. Vietnam’s courts now lack judges with sufficient legal knowledge of IP issues. The specific characteristic of IP cases is that judges need to have a deep understanding of the business to know where violations arise. The lack of sufficient knowledge among judges has led to significant problems in the resolution of court cases.
Vietnam needs to therefore establish a specialized IP court which already exists in some countries. Such a specialized court could operate independently or under the IP system. It not only handles disputes between plaintiffs and defendants in legal proceedings but also handles the cases between applicants and IP right enforcement agencies. The establishment of such a specialized court aims to more effectively handle cases. However, Lam said this would not be a simple task in Vietnam and he hoped there will be one court of this kind in the coming time.
By Nguyen Duyen