Draft amendments to the Law on Intellectual Property issued
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The Vietnamese government has submitted a draft law amending the Law on Intellectual Property to the standing committee of the National Assembly. The draft law, which contains 37 proposed amendments to the Law on Intellectual Property, is scheduled to be approved at the upcoming National Assembly session in May 2009.
The key amendments contained in the draft law are as follows:
- The term of copyright protection for cinematographic, photographic, dramatic and applied art works will be increased from 50 to 75 years.
- The time limit for the substantive examination of applications for the registration of inventions will be increased from 12 to 18 months.
- The time limit for the substantive examination of applications for the registration of designs, trademarks and geographical indications will be increased from six to nine months.
- The registration of a geographical name or other sign indicating the geographical origin of a Vietnamese speciality as a collective mark or certification mark will have to be approved by the organization that has rights over the geographical indication.
- The first-to-file principle will be amended as follows:
- Where several applicants file for the registration of identical or similar inventions, or identical or similar industrial designs, registration will be granted only to the invention or industrial design which has the earliest filing date and satisfies all the conditions for registration.
- Where several applicants file for the registration of identical or confusingly similar trademarks for identical or similar goods and/or services, or where one applicant applies for the registration of several identical trademarks for identical goods and/or services, registration will be granted only to the trademark which has the earliest filing date and satisfies all the conditions for registration.
- Goods that are found to infringe IP rights will be confiscated.
- The following acts will be subject to administrative remedies:
- acts of infringement of IP rights that cause damage to consumers or society as a whole;
- deliberate acts of infringement of IP rights and deliberate acts of unfair competition; and
- producing, importing, transporting, trading or possessing stamps, labels or other objects bearing a counterfeit mark or geographical indication.
Duong Le Hoai, LÊ & LÊ, Hanoi
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