Last updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Over VND518 Bln of IPR Infringement Handled in 2017

Posted: Monday, May 21, 2018

Over VND518 billion of intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods were handled in 2017, reported Mr Vu Xuan Binh, Deputy Director of Anti-Counterfeit Goods Department, Market Surveillance Agency, Ministry of Industry and Trade, at the Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement, recently co-organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Korean Trade - Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ho Chi Minh Branch (VCCI-HCM).

At the workshop, Mr Binh reported on the state of implementation against counterfeit goods, faked goods and intellectual property (IP) infringement over the past years. At the same time, he also defined the difficulties and obstacles against market management agencies in their mission implementation, and proposed solutions and orientations.

According to Mr Binh, in 2017, the authorities levied fines of VND72.8 billion in 4,799 cases of counterfeit goods and IP infringement, with infringed goods value reaching over VND518 billion, of which the case number of fake geographical indication, labelling or packaging ranked first, with 3,518 cases.

Market management agencies have deployed many inspection campaigns targeted at multi-level and functional foods sale. As updated at the workshop by Mr Tran Hung, Deputy Director of the Market Surveillance Agency, by the occurrence of the workshop, five working groups (established in accordance with Decision 334 of the Minister of Industry and Trade) was launched in Ben Thanh Market to hunt for faked watches and glasses.

Although the authorities have been actively working to prevent counterfeit goods and IP infringement, the status of fraudulent goods, counterfeit goods and IP infringement has remained stinging and persistent due to the limited human resources in market management and their lack of specialised equipment, warehousing, and so on.

"Notably, profit coming from counterfeit goods trading is so high that many violators ignore violation treatment," said Mr Binh.

The act of making faked goods has caused serious losses but only been handled as an administrative violation, he confirmed.

"We have proposed the criminal treatment of this act, but there have been still many controversies. Though the regulation governing this act was introduced in the Penal Code in 2015, it was rejected finally,” he revealed.

According to Mr Binh, "self-protection" is still the most important and effective way to improve the understanding and ability of consumers in recognising firms’ brand names.

Dr Jaeheon Lee, Korea Intellectual Property Service Centre (KISTA), stated that since 1960, Korea has deployed policies and promulgated laws on IP rights protection to encourage investment from foreign enterprises.

She also had a comment that the capability of Vietnam to abide by intellectual property is still limited.

Currently, in the Vietnamese market, many foreign companies have registered patents, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, making it difficult for Vietnam to approach resource technology.

"Korean businesses have started switching to investment in information technology, thus disputes over intellectual property are predicted to be increased," he forecasted.

Experts judge that online infringement of IP rights will be increasing; counterfeit goods from Asian countries shall be massively exported to the Vietnam market for sale through online channels. According to the analysis, overseas counterfeit goods shall be brought in Vietnam via three directions: from mainland China, Hong Kong - Macau territory and Thailand.

Dr Yusun Park, an expert of the Korean Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), commented that the Vietnamese law on intellectual property is quite broad, thus it is recommended that Vietnam needs to establish an online system for registration and settling any complaints related to this issue.

In connection with Mumuso chain in Vietnam alleged to have sold Chinese goods, Dr Yusun Park and Mr Sungho Anh, representative of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), insisted that the enterprise has registered trademark only without any manufacture of goods in Korea. However, very small Vietnamese words translated from "Made in China" labelled on Mumuso’s products, with the user guide written in Korean language and packaging similar to Korean products, easily caused confusion.

Nguyen Viet Hung

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