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New IP Law In Vietnam

A new Intellectual Property Law has been enacted and adopted by the National Assembly in Vietnam on the 19th of November 2005.

This new law will be effective on the 1st of July 2006.

There are 6 parts in this new law, divided in 18 chapters to comprise a total of 226 articles.

Part 1, called ” General provisions”, covers the scope, subject and object of the regulation as well as the terminology used in the Act and the basis of establishment and restrictions of the Intellectual Property rights.

Part 2 concerns the protection of the copyrights and related rights such as literary, artistic and scientific works and copyright for performances, sound recordings, video recordings, broadcasting programs, satellite signals carrying encrypted program.

Part 3 is about the industrial property rights such as inventions, industrial designs, layout-designs of semi-conductor integrated circuits, trade secrets, trademarks, trade names, geographical indications and also about licensing, assignment and transfer of these rights.

Part 4 introduces new plant varieties (provisions, protection requirements, establishment of rights, obligations, licensing and assignments).

Part 5 focuses on the enforcement of Intellectual Property rights with administrative and civil procedures, remedies, criminal procedures, and liability for damages.

And finally, part 6 contains provisions relating to implementation.

The provisions regarding Intellectual Property rights are no longer in the Civil Code or in any other regulations as previously. By issuing a new law containing more detailed provisions on all types of Intellectual Property rights, Vietnam enters a new phase in the development of intellectual property protection.

This law enumerates general requirements for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright…as well as the contents, limitations and duration of protection for the intellectual property rights.

The most important aspect of this law is the protection of the owners’ Intellectual Property rights, which are broadened and strengthened. The provisions on protection of Intellectual Property rights focus on reinforcing various enforcement measures to ensure effectiveness, namely civil procedures, remedies and provisional measures. Therefore, civil remedies may be applied by the Courts to sanction infringers on request of the Intellectual Property rights’ holders when initiating a trial with the Courts. The latter may also request provisional measures if there is an urgent need to prevent infringed goods or evidence from being dispersed or destroyed by infringers.

Besides, administrative preventive measures are introduced. Intellectual Property rights owners can enforce their rights by administrative procedures and measures. They may request from the State enforcement authorities to apply administrative preventive measures if there is a risk that the infringement acts or/and goods may cause serious damages to consumers or the public or to ensure the enactment of administrative sanctions.

This new law should meet the expectations regarding the requirements of an Intellectual Property law system to be in accordance with the TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Agreement. The issuance of this new law also complete Vietnam’ s preparation in terms of legal instruments in the field of intellectual property for the bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the near future. The Intellectual Property legal system in Vietnam will now be more organized and enforcement of protecting intellectual property rights will be more effective.

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