Monday, June 26, 2017

Workshop on intellectual property rights


HÀ NỘI - The rapid development of technology, the Internet and social networks has resulted in significant development of e-commerce in Việt Nam, however, it has brought challenges for many enterprises, especially in intellectual property protection.

It was necessary to raise the awareness of community about the protection of intellectual property rights in general and the e-commerce environment in particular, Trần Văn Tùng, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, told a workshop on intellectual property enforcement in e-commerce in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

"The Government, the Ministry of Science and Technology and other ministries and sectors have been working hard to prevent intellectual property infringement as well as infringements of intellectual property rights in the digital environment, but this work faces many difficulties," Tùng said.

Nguyễn Như Quỳnh, deputy chief inspector the Ministry of Science and Technology, said enterprises were not fully aware of the protection of intellectual property rights in e-commerce.

She pointed out difficulties including enterprises not being aware of the problem, difficulties in identifying violating organisations or individuals, difficulties in collecting evidence and incomplete legislation.

Lê Ngọc Lâm, deputy director of National Office of Intellectual Property of Việt Nam, said e-commerce had grown vigorously. “Due to the almost infinite author’s privilege and the scope on the Internet, along with the development of e-commerce, online infringement has become a major challenge.”

E-commerce was developing very strongly in Việt Nam, however, the sector had many shortcomings because it still lacks qualified staff, he said.

In addition, co-ordination among agencies caused difficulties and obstacles, he added. “Functional units need to have training courses on e-commerce, strengthening the co-ordination activities between enforcement forces in the prevention and control of intellectual property infringement.”

As the responsible agency for intellectual property issues, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Việt Nam would add sanctions for the electronic transaction environment, while co-ordinating with authorities to resolve domain name disputes and in identifying related issues to Intellectual Property cases, said Lâm, the representative of the office.

Source VNS

VN businesses lack trademark benefits

Mai Hà, Associate Professor and Chairman of the Việt Nam Association of Intellectual Property Rights, speaks to Hải Quan (Customs) newspaper about the poor vision of Vietnamese enterprises in acquiring trade marks for their products.

In your opinion, what are the major hurdles preventing Vietnamese enterprises from implementing the Law on Intellectual Property Rights?

In my opinion, the first hurdle is lack of vision by management boards. Intellectual property rights are legally defined as intangible assets, yet in reality, they are the enterprises’ main assets when seeking to earn from the sales of their products.

Many enterprise heads have not realised the importance of obtaining trade marks for their products. As a result, the firms violate the intellectual property rights of other enterprises or are caught in other legal disputes. Second, other enterprises may copy the their product designs after they have spent a lot of money and effort developing them.

Such damage is avoidable if management boards have trademark knowledge.

However, in Việt Nam many people have argued that as most Vietnamese enterprises are small or medium-size, their financial capacity is limited and they cannot afford to pay the trademark registration fee. They also argue that access to information is poor. I totally object to such poor arguments. According to our Law on Intellectual Property Rights, the fee for trademark registration is affordable to most firms. So the ball is now in their courts. If the enterprises see the benefits of having trademarks for their products, they will go for them immediately. This is something the Government cannot do for them.

In addition, in my opinion, our legal system is lacking. Vietnamese enterprises are currently not accustomed to seek legal aid from lawyers in their business operations. Coupled with that, our lawyers’ knowledge about international legal practices is still limited. As Việt Nam integrates deeper and deeper internationally, our legal system must be on par with that in other countries for the development of the national economy and business.

It is a fact that companies’ knowledge about intellectual property rights is still limited. But quite a few have also deliberately violated the law on intellectual property rights. Do you have any suggestions to deal with this problem?

At the beginning, quite a few enterprises breached the law either unconsciously or unintentionally. But later, some enterprises broke the law intentionally to seek profits. The driving arguments for those enterprises may be that they didn’t intend to expand their production scale. So, in my opinion, functional agencies should organise training workshops and communication campaigns to raise awareness for enterprises about the benefits of having intellectual property rights. In addition, they should adopt policies to help enterprises understand more about their legal rights and responsibility towards their products with intellectual property rights, including Geographical Indicators or trademarks.

Source VNS

Intellectual property key for firms

Businesses may be able to improve earnings and market values if they are able to develop and use intellectual property in efficient ways, officials said at a seminar on Tuesday. — Photo sohuutritue.net.vn

HÀ NỘI — Businesses may be able to improve earnings and market values if they are able to develop and use intellectual property in efficient ways, officials said at a seminar on Tuesday.

According to Mai Hà, chairman of the Việt Nam Intellectual Property Association, Vietnamese businesses need to consider measures to protect, manage and implement their intellectual property rights.

He said that those actions would help companies perform at the best possible level and avoid costly conflicts and lawsuits regarding intellectual property rights.

When a business has a good policy to protect its intellectual property, it would have comparative advantages over other players in the market, he added.

In addition, the company would be able to strengthen its position in the market place, minimise the chance of competitors copying its intellectual assets and have the right to ask for compensation if competitors violate the firm’s intellectual property rights, he said.

Valuable intellectual properties would also help improve the business value for the company in the eye of investors and financial institutions, Hà said, adding that the company may increase its earnings by selling, merchandising and commercialising its intellectual assets.

The Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s general secretary Phạm Thị Thu Hằng said that society and the business community have misjudged the role of intellectual property rights in terms of economic growth.

Local companies must be aware that intellectual property is a non-physical asset, which can generate much higher value than all combined physical assets, in current socio-economic development, she said.

Especially, when Việt Nam integrates more deeply in the international community, the role of intellectual property has become more important in all business activities from production to distribution, Hằng added.

Sharing a similar view, Đinh Hữu Phí, general director of the National Office of Intellectual Property, said that intellectual rights are a tool to raise the competitiveness of local companies and the national economy as it is one of the most important internal qualities to determine sustainable economic growth.

Therefore, Vietnamese companies needs to use their intellectual property rights in the most effective way to improve their value and position in the market, he said.

They should be prepared to face and resolve challenges and use solutions to maximise and protect the use of intellectual rights, Phí said, adding that they should acknowledge intelligence as a highly valuable asset for development.

The seminar was organised by the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, drawing significant attention from the business community, associations, economists and the media.

Source VNS

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