VCN –The counterfeit goods and IP-infringing goods not only voices concern for rights holdersbut also a great challenge for law enforcement forces in protecting consumers and legitimate businesses.
|Not to protect and abet smugglers|
|Proactively control counterfeit goods and infringing intellectual property rights|
|The Market Surveillance Force seizedabout three tons of medicinal ingredients and supplemental foods in February 2023.|
The problem of fake goods
Director General of the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance Tran HuuLinh said that from January 8, after China government eased the “Zero Covid” policy, the domestic market resumed operation, and many smuggled goods on land, sea, and airway occurred. However, only in the first four months of the yeardid the Market Surveillance force detect and handle 2,000 cases related to smuggled goods with various infringing goods.
For example, the Market Surveillance force seized tens of thousands of cigarettepacks in Ha Noi; more than 10,000 cigars, cosmetics, andfoods of unknown origin in HCM City. In the Southwest region and the Central route, the smuggling of sugar took place. The law enforcement forces seized tens to hundreds of tons of sugar.
The Director General said that the fake goods raised seriousconcerns. Through reflections of rights holders and owners of world-famous brands, infringement of intellectual property rights in the Vietnamese market still widely occurred. Many big-brand products from the United States, Europe, and Asia (Korea, Japan) are produced domestically. In the first four months of 2023, the Market Surveillance force handled more than 4,000 violations. The seized infringing goods are mainly fake cosmetics and supplemental foods, affecting the health and life of users.
Recently, at the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement with the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, the Sales Director of CERAN-R products in Asia region of SCHOTT AG Katja said SCHOTT AG is committed to protecting Vietnamese consumersin facing the problem of counterfeit goods and IP-infringing goods.
However, fake SCHOTT AG products often have low quality and durability due to low-quality materials and unsafe manufacturing processes. Moreover, fake products also may harm Vietnamese consumers.Therefore, the cooperation between the two sides will protect Vietnamese consumers from the risk of buying low-quality products and fake goods.
Director of External Relations of the LEGO Group Do Viet Tung voiced concern that the large sales of LEGO products with a high price in the market haveled to the popular manufacturing of fake products.
The infringement of intellectual property rights for LEGO products has occurredon a large scale. In addition, the infringing products are diverse in types, distribution channels and consumption. Therefore, trading these products may constitute a trademark, copyright, and unfair competition.
To improve the efficiency of the fight against counterfeit goods and IP-infringing goods, Director General Tran HuuLinh said that the Market Surveillance hadstrengthened inspection and coordination in combating fake goodsand smuggled products, especially handling goods related to the determination of standards and quality.
The Market Surveillance Force has shared information on mechanisms, policies, and legal documents and to make transparent procedures for handling violations; created favourable conditions for enterprises in the investigation to shorten the time and enhance the efficiency of the work. In addition, the force has also gathered feedback from enterprises on problems in the coordination mechanism to strengthen the cooperativerelationship between enterprises and enforcement agencies.
Regarding the fight against counterfeit goods, a representative of the Steering Committee 389 of Hanoi City said that law enforcement forces should share information on new smuggling methods and tricks, especially new infringing goods, to improve the efficiency of this work. Moreover, the forces should strengthen training to improve their skills in handling violations; held seminars to discuss experiences associated with specific situations. In addition, promptly detect shortcomings, and overlapping policies, and recommend amending, supplementing and perfecting legal documents towards aggravating the form of sanctions to increase deterrence against violators.
In the first quarter of 2023, the market surveillance force handled 1,908 cases of trafficking, transporting and storing banned and smuggled goods; 7,227 other commercial frauds; 1,021 counterfeit goods, IP-infringing goods; and contributed VND 82.4 billion to the State budget.
By Quang Hung/Ngoc Loan