How to invest in Vietnam – INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
1. Intellectual property object
In recent years, the Government has taken many measures to strengthen the legal protection of intellectual property. Since 1995, the National Assembly has passed the Civil Code, which has a chapter devoted to the protection of intellectual property rights.
The National Assembly recently passed the Law on Intellectual Property, effective July 1, 2006, which codifies intellectual property objects, conditions for registration or protection of intellectual property rights. and enforcement measures.
Vietnam is a long-term contracting party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, the Madrid Agreement concerning the international trademark registration, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Vietnam is also a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), established by the Stockholm Convention in March 1993. On June 27, 1997, Vietnam signed an Agreement on the Establishment of Copyright relations with the United States. Recently, in 2004, Vietnam became a party to the Berne Convention on copyright and in 2006, Vietnam became a member of the Madrid Protocol on trademarks.
Under Vietnamese law, industrial property objects are required to be registered for protection in Vietnam (firstly, the applicant is filed). Patents are protected for a period of 20 years. A utility solution certificate can be issued for 10 years.
Industrial design certificates are issued for 5 years and can be renewed every 5 years; however, the total validity period of an industrial design certificate cannot exceed 15 years. Trademark registration certificates are granted for 10 years without any restriction on the number of extensions. It is not necessary to register a well-known mark because a well-known mark is protected when used, essentially regardless of the registration.
In Vietnam, the state administrative structure of intellectual property rights is as follows:
(i) The National Office of Intellectual Property (DAY NOIP,), under the management of the Ministry of Science and Technology, is the agency responsible for registering industrial property objects, including patents. manufacturing, brands, integrated circuits of industrial designs, and geographical indications. Foreign individuals not permanently residing in Vietnam and foreign organizations and individuals that don’t have production or business establishments in Vietnam seeking to register property rights in Vietnam must use a local agent. Industrial Property to apply for registration at NOIP.
(ii) The Copyright Protection Office under the Ministry of Culture and Information is responsible for copyright protection.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Culture and Information are responsible for responding to investors on intellectual property issues.
2. Enforcement Procedures
Measures to enforce intellectual property rights available in Vietnam to intellectual property rights owners in cases of infringement include:
(i) Information measures (non-procedural measures)
(ii) Administrative measures;
(iii) Border measures;
(iv) Civil remedies; and
(v) Criminal measures.
2.1. Information measure
Sometimes, when an intellectual property rights owner sends a warning letter to the person who committed the infringement or unfair act, it is sufficient to prevent such behavior. Advertising in the most popular newspapers or magazines about counterfeit products and providing the public with advice to distinguish between real products and counterfeit goods is also an effective way to prevent violations or Unequal behavior may occur and is often used by trademark owners.
2.2. Administrative measures
Anyone who violates, whether intentionally or unintentionally, “not yet at the level of penal liability”, intellectual property rights, will be administratively sanctioned. Taking administrative measures, intellectual property rights owners may receive timely administrative measures, some of which they usually seek from civil courts in other countries, in addition to Civil procedure in Vietnamese court. The most common administrative measures include, warnings, fines and confiscation and destruction of infringing products.
2.3. Border measures
One of the most important functions of customs is to control and inspect imported or exported goods at border gates, especially against illegal border traffic. Under the Customs Law, this agency expanded into intellectual property. Intellectual property rights owners may request customs authorities to suspend the import and export of goods to owners with valid grounds to prove that their intellectual property rights have been infringed. The owner of intellectual property rights must send a written notice opposing the import or export, evidence of infringement of intellectual property rights and a guarantee or equivalent guarantee. Customs will have the authority to stop and suspend customs clearance and decide on administrative measures to handle goods for which customs procedures have been suspended and infringed upon intellectual property rights.
2.4. Civil remedies
The two main measures are (i) a relief measure against subsequent infringement; and (ii) pay damages. Although not specifically provided for in the intellectual property law, in practice, Vietnamese courts often calculate damages based on the plaintiff’s lost revenue or the defendant’s profits due to infringement of the accused.
2.5. Criminal prosecution
Any person who violates intellectual property rights causes serious consequences, or any violator has been administratively sanctioned or has been convicted of similar or similar acts before criminal records. If your expiration expires, you will be fined up to VND 200 million (VND 12,500) or retrained without being detained for up to 2 years. In “very serious” or “extremely serious” cases, the penalty will be imprisoned up to 3 years.
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