The Intellectual Property Law came into effect on July 1, 2006. Implementation of the law is not easy, however. Deputy Director Tran Viet Hung of the Intellectual Property Agency discussed with media this issue.
According to the Intellectual Property Law, the number of agencies in charge of protecting Intellectual Property does not reduce. Do you think this will badly affect interests of intellectual property owners?
Before, regulations on intellectual property are cumbersome. Many agencies like market management force, economic police, science and technology inspectors, People’s Committee, court, etc dealt with one case of intellectual property violation. Sometimes, there is no agency to deal with a case because one thought the case must be solved by another.
Under the new Law, in-charge agencies remain the same but their responsibility clarify so that they can cooperate with each other better. More disputes will be solved by civil courts.
Which agencies that complainants can come to?
Complaints can be sent to science, technology and culture inspectors and market management force. However, a company of which Intellectual Property is violated should focus their complaint on one agency only.
Before, judgment in many cases of intellectual property violations was based on verification of intellectual property agencies and verifications of different agencies were sometimes not the same. Is this solved in the new law?
The agency in charge of verification remains to be the Intellectual Property Agency and provincial Departments of Science and Technology. If verification of one agency is not enough for judgment, verification of another will be required.
Can businesses be assured about the concept of “similarity‿, which is very sensitive and basis for identification of intellectual property violation?
“Similarity‿ sometimes causes misunderstanding but sometimes does not. Only “similarity‿ that causes misunderstanding is considered as violation. The new Law states more clearly about counterfeit goods in terms of intellectual property. In fact, it is still difficult to give an accurate definition of counterfeit goods.
Do you think judges are capable enough to solve intellectual property violation cases as this field is new to them?
Judges will need time to improve their capability in this field. As far as I know, establishment of an intellectual property court is being studied. A working group will come to Thailand this month to learn the country’s experiences in this field. I think, the first task should be done is to train intellectual property judges.