Application of Administrative Measures to Protect Intellectual Property Rights in Vietnam
Since joining WTO, Vietnam has been coping to comply with the international commitments in general and intellectual property area in particular. In order to ensure fair legal environment and the benefits of intellectual property right holders, the Vietnam laws provide a number of ways in which holders can apply the following methods to protect their intellectual property rights:
Negotiation: requesting organizations, individuals committing infringement acts of intellectual property rights to terminate the infringing acts, apologize, publicly rectify and compensate damages;
Using administrative remedies: requesting the competent agencies to handle infringement acts of intellectual property rights;
Filing claim at court or arbitration center: initiating a lawsuit at a competent court or an arbitrator to protect their legitimate rights and interests;
Negotiation is often used in the first step to request the violator to stop the infringement of intellectual property rights. However, this measure is not potentially effective because it dependents on goodwill and cooperation of the violator as well as the legal basis, evidences that you can provide to demonstrate and warn of violating acts.
Relating to the dispute settlements, due to high costs, complicated procedures and extended time, this measure is not commonly selected as the best treatment.
In Vietnam, intellectual property infringement is mainly dealt with through administrative measures. Depending on their functions and responsibility, competent state management agencies deal with infringements of intellectual property rights as per request of the IP holders Currently, through the following agencies:
Inspectorate of the Ministry of Science and Technology;
Economic Police of the Ministry of Public Security and;
Market management of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
In case of dealing with infringements of intellectual property rights in Vietnam, the holders should carry out the following steps:
1.Submission of a written request to terminate an infringement of intellectual property rights:
This step is optional to save costs for the infringed party as well as deal with the infringement on the basis of goodwill and cooperation. The infringed party should send documents, including a persuasive Cease and Desist letter and evidences, to the violator for the purpose of requesting them to terminate the violation and commit not to repeat the infringement in the future. In fact, many intellectual property right holders have reached their goals at this step providing that they can collect enough proof.
2.Requesting the competent state agencies to handle acts of infringement of intellectual property rights:
In this step, the infringed party must prove both its ownership to the intellectual property and information, evidence of the infringement by the infringing party.
The application of administrative remedies is effective handled, so it should be preferable to filling a lawsuit. After requesting the administrative agency to penalize the infringing party, the right holder still remain their right to initiate a lawsuit in court to claim of damages. Actually, the combination of administrative measures and lawsuits at court would be more effective for intellectual property right holders.
Thao Hoang at ANT Lawyers