Promoting effective intellectual property right protection and enforcement in Vietnam

18:15 | 10/06/2016 Science - Technology

(VEN) - June 10, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), with support from BSA | The Software Alliance, held a review of the “One-month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day towards integration”. It is the second year in a row the initiative was underway, with proven positive influence on IP right protection in Vietnam.

Promoting effective intellectual property right protection and enforcement in Vietnam

In the education month, a large variety of activities were underway, including a Business roundtable event which was held in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam, drawing much interest from the private sector, right owners and owners’ agents, and international organizations

With various major awareness activities taking place in a whole month, followed by robust enforcement efforts nationwide, the “One-month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day towards integration” was expected to create the much needed momentum to further boost on-going IP protection and enforcement actions, which has been high on the government’s agenda amid the national economy strong penetration into the regional and global economy.

On behalf of the enforcement forces, Mr. Tran Minh Dung, MOST Chief Inspector said:  “Under the leadership of the Minister, the MOST Inspectorate, as a lead agency, has been working closely with BSA | The Software Alliance, to roll out planned activities of the “One month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day towards integration”, combining education and enforcement to increase awareness on the role and value of IP rights in the country’s development; strengthen the establishment, use, development and enforcement of IP rights; make sure that IP rights really become useful tools to promote science and technology development, and that of the entire economy and society as a whole; and build awareness in the entire country for fulfillment of our IP-related international commitments, especially the commitments in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPP)”.

In the education month, a large variety of activities were underway, including a Business roundtable event which was held in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam, drawing much interest from the private sector, right owners and owners’ agents, and international organizations. This is the first roundtable of its kind that reflects in details all Vietnam's IP commitments in TPP, as a way to help businesses take hold of the opportunities that may come their way, and be prepared to comply with these covenants.

Importantly, a review of the Joint program of action for IP right infringement control, Phase II (2012-2015) held by MOST, in cooperation with eight other relevant ministries, on April 28, 2016 to reconfirm Vietnam’s willingness to fulfill its international IP commitments made as part of the bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements it has endorsed, and especially preparedness before TPP comes into effect. Program 168, with close coordination of the nine participating ministries and line agencies, look set to contribute a major role in spurring IP protection and enforcement efforts in the near future.

In the first five months of 2016, the MOST Inspectorate alone received 31 petitions for punitive actions from right owners and case files passed over by the police. Inspection activities took place with 25 entities and inpiduals showing signs of abusing industrial ownership rights, and VND 855,600,000 in fine money imposed. Caught infringing acts vary, including abuses of patents, useful solutions, trade marks, industrial designs, trade names and unfair competition.

In respect of software ownership alone, the first wave of inspection following the “One month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day towards integration” had been underway at several enterprises in the South of the country, including Ty Hung Co. Ltd., AAA Pharmacy Ltd. (headquartered in HCMC), and Alliance One Garment Co. Ltd. (based in Ben Tre).  An audit taskforce teamed up by inspectors of the Ministry of Culture-Sports-Tourism (MOCST) and Hi-tech Crime Police (C50, Ministry of Public Security), checked 247 computers and detected more than 500 unlicensed software applications in use. By estimates of the owners’, the software used illegally at these three companies was worth about VND 3 billion.

Mr. Roland Chan, Senior Director for Compliance Programs, Asia Pacific, BSA|The Software Alliance – a close supporting partner of MOST in the program of action for two consecutive years now, said: “We truly give high credit to MOST and participants of Program 168 for their monumental efforts, especially MOCST, in assuring effective IP enforcement in Vietnam. Extensive awareness campaigns like this have proven to be really effective, if you look at the numbers, where Vietnam has cut another 3% of its software piracy rate, from 81% to 78%, in 2016, according to a BSA’s recently released global report on May 25. A three percentage point slash is a significant and impressive achievement”.

P.V

Theo ven.vn