What are notes about intellectual property rights protection in the new context


VCN – The amending and supplementing of the Law on a number of articles of the Law on Intellectual Property has been approved by the National Assembly and will take effect from January 1, 2023.According to Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Deputy Director, Intellectual Property Office, Vision & Associates Law Firm, businesses and authorities need to actively learn, disseminate and propagate to make the best use of the regulations in the law, especially in the context of the increasingly strong cooperation and competition between domestic and foreign enterprises.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Deputy Director, Intellectual Property Office, Vision & Associates Law Firm
Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Deputy Director, Intellectual Property Office, Vision & Associates Law Firm

Among the new points of the revised Intellectual Property Law, can you tell us about the new point related to Customs?

This revision of the Intellectual Property Law is the most comprehensive and far-reaching ever.

In addition to many new issues for the protection of intellectual property rights of enterprises, in terms of the enforcement of intellectual property rights, the Law on Intellectual Property has a positive change that allows the participation of state agencies when detecting infringements during the performance of official duties.

With Customs, this is not a big problem because Customs still handles acts of intellectual property infringement, but previously at the request of the right holder and in the handling range. According to the new law, Customs can proactively handle infringements as soon as they detect violations of counterfeiting of goods and intellectual property. This is carried out immediately without any request from the rights holder.

Does the implementation of the above regulations have any effect on the customs clearance of goods?

This has no impact on import and export customs clearance activities because all procedures are still carried out as current practices. The Customs authority also has requirements to ensure the fast circulation of goods. Therefore, the new regulations do not hinder the circulation of goods, but only increase the initiative for customs officers when detecting violations of intellectual property rights.

For such work, the Customs authority needs to know that the scope of competence is changed after the Intellectual Property Law takes effect. The Customs sector needs to have training sessions and guidance in this field for customs officers and import-export businesses. In addition, with problems that may arise in practice, the relevant agencies need to record their comments and contributions so that they can be resolved early and learn lessons from each stage. If the problems are solved, new mechanisms and laws will really be brought into play.

Could you please tell us what issues should businesses be concerned about before the revised Intellectual Property Law takes effect?

Regulations on trademark protection are an issue that businesses need to pay attention to first. Regarding trademarks, Vietnam’s Intellectual Property Law has begun to extend protection since the beginning of this year. Therefore, businesses should think about the protection of sound trademarks, in addition to text and image trademarks, etc.

The criteria for evaluating well-known trademarks as well as the evidence to refuse, cancel or terminate the validity of the trademark are the points that Vietnamese businesses need to pay attention to protect their trademarks. Enterprises providing intermediary services have also been initially bound by liability related to copyright or related acts of infringement on the platforms they provide.

Another issue that needs to be considered is that businesses must be aware of some changes related to implementation in the digital environment. In particular, domain name registration is no longer considered unfair competition, so businesses, besides registering for trademark protection, should immediately think about registering domain names, especially high-level domains “.vn or .com.vn”. Because when there is a domain name appropriation, it is quite difficult to handle the infringement.

How should authorities and businesses make the Law effective?

This issue requires involvement from both sides. Firstly, authorities need to strengthen propaganda, dissemination, education and training on issues related to intellectual property, because this is a specialized field.

Secondly, businesses cannot be passive, but must actively learn about intellectual property law, seek information as well as advice and support from lawyers to make the best use of the provisions of the law. In the current context, businesses cannot wait for service provision or specific explanations from state agencies.

By Huong Diu/ Bui Diep


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