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Enterprises have to create barriers protect IPRs by themselves

 Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) plays an increasingly important role for the economic and social development to improve the competitiveness of enterprises. However, many enterprises are still not aware of the importance of IPRs.


The above was stated by experts at the Protection and development of intellectual property in the industrial age 4.0 seminar held by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

At the seminar, Mr.Nguyen Thanh Binh, Director of Center for Intellectual Property Development under the Intellectual Property Department stated that according to statistics, on average, the number of IP registration applications of enterprises increased from 7% to 15%. Although the licensing procedures were improved, actually it has not met the demand. Because, the number of Vietnamese businesses with a business registration license usually ranged from 500,000 to 600,000 enterprises per year while the number of certificates issued by the Intellectual Property Department from 2005 to present day was less than only 300,000 certificates, and this is not including that many pharmaceutical companies had between 100 to 200 trade brands, the equivalent to 200 certificates per enterprise.

For the IP registration of businesses, Mr. Tran Manh Hung, IP expert, VIAC arbitrator, and lawyer of Baker & Mckenzie Company in Vietnam, said that registration of procedures to establish the trademark with simple procedures, low cost but have not yet been paid attention by enterprises, especially for start-up businesses. This was the difference between domestic enterprises and foreign enterprises to start investing in Vietnam.

On the same view, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh added, the Department received about 3 to 4 thousand registration applications every year. However, the number of registration applications of the Vietnamese people only accounts for about 10%, the remaining was from foreign individuals and organizations. Moreover, with the small number of Vietnamese applicants, the number of applications that were successfully registered only accounted for 10-15%, while foreign companies, the rate was 50%.

According to Mr. Binh, one of the reasons for this situation is that the description of IP registration application of Vietnamese enterprises have not incompleted and rather simply; while the applications of foreign companies are described in detail and complete, because before they were sent to the Intellectual Property Department the applications had already been sent to the Law Offices for consultation .

Sharing the difficulties of enterprises in the field of IP, Mr. Doan Thanh Hoa, representative of Karofi Company in Vietnam said that every year Karofi always improves its products twice per year. But, when these products were sent for the registry, the company had to wait up to 2 years to receive the certificate. Meanwhile, 2-3 months later, the "imitated" Karofi products were sold in the market. Therefore, the company expected that the relevant management agencies should take a measure to publicize that registration to protect the IP of the company.

For this situation, the experts said that enterprises should take the initiative to protect themselves against IPRs infringements. Enterprises should create a barrier to protect IPRs. When businesses call for help, the relevant agencies have the ability to protect and support in a timely fashion.

Typically, according to Mr. Nguyen Viet Hong, Chairman and Director General of Vina CHG, the current solution is the application of anti-counterfeit stamps with high quality for investigation of goods origin.

In addition, to enhance the effectiveness of anti-counterfeiting, Mr. Do Thanh Lam, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association for Anti-counterfeiting and Trademark Protection, said that it needs to further strengthen communication and review legal documents to amend in accordance with reality. To even sanction revoking the licensing into the law for production of counterfeit goods. There should be an IP - related stakeholder organization to evaluate violation cases on counterfeit goods and trademarks.