The National Assembly began discussing and giving opinions on the draft Law on Intellectual Property in Ha Noi on May 30. The following are opinions on Intellectual Property rights in Viet Nam given by Dr. Ho Duc Viet, member of the Communist Party of Vie
“Regulations on Intellectual Property rights protection were issued in Viet Nam at beginning of the 80s [Regulation on technical improvement initiative, production rationalisation and invention (1981), Regulation on commodity marks (1982), and Regulation on industrial patterns (1988)]. However, only after the NA passed the Civil Code in 1995, legally-effective regulations on intellectual property were introduced. The sixth part of the Civil Code on Intellectual Property and Technological Transfer Rights with 61 articles, which acknowledges civil rights of intellectual achievements, has laid a foundation for the making of a legal system on intellectual property in Viet Nam.
“Based on regulations of the Civil Code, around 40 sub-laws have been issued to finalise and guide the implementation of regulations on intellectual property. Being enacted after the Civil Code, the Laws on Science and Technology, Enterprise, Press, and Publishing, and the Penal Code comprise regulations related to intellectual property in order to help strengthen the effectiveness of State management in the field.
“So far, almost all forms of intellectual property have been recognised by the Vietnamese laws to be the subject of ownership rights and have been protected by the State.
“Viet Nam has participated in important international conventions on intellectual property, including the Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property, the Berne Convention for the protection of the rights of authors in literary and artistic works, the Madrid Agreement concerning the international registration of marks, the Patent Co-operation Treaty and the Stockholm Convention concerning the establishment of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.
“Viet Nam has also committed to executing all tasks on intellectual property protection specified by the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property rights (TRIPS Agreement) without a transitional period when it enters the World Trade Organisation. Under the TRIPS Agreement, Viet Nam is tasked to accede to important international conventions on intellectual property such as the Geneva Convention for the protection of producers of phonograms against unauthorised duplication (1971), the Rome Convention for the protection of performers, producers of phonograms and broadcasting organisations (1961), the Brussels Convention relating to the distribution of programme-carrying signals transmitted by satellite (1974), and the UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties) Convention (1991).
“By now, we may say that our laws on intellectual property have basically met the standards required by the TRIPS Agreement and other important international treaties on intellectual property. Other than encoded satellite signals that have not been protected, Viet Nam’s laws have regulations on objects, rights, duration, and mechanisms for protection that are in conformity with international treaties.
“However, the present system of laws on intellectual property in our country has not reached the requirement of effectiveness. Regulations on procedures of civil, administrative and criminal sanctions have not been sufficient or clear enough, and are still contradictory and overlapping…”
Viet continued, “To improve the validity and effectiveness of intellectual property protection, we should complete the Law on Intellectual Property as soon as possible. The law should define the agency serving as the link for coordination, intensify the effective coordination between agencies enforcing the Intellectual Property rights and between these agencies with the rights owner, and uphold the role of courts in the field. It is also necessary to raise public awareness of Intellectual Property rights and encourage services on intellectual property to improve their quality.
“Intellectual property protection is a new domain in our country. To raise its efficiency and avoid risks caused by the lack of experience in coordination with partners we should uphold our internal strength and learn from developed countries in this domain, take advantage of international assistance in cadre training, improve information capacity for enforcing agencies, and search for possibilities of signing agreements on intellectual property protection with other countries, especially neighbouring.