New decree on handling IP administrative violations in force

Vietnam

On September 22 2006 the Vietnamese government issued Decree 106/2006/ND-CP on handling administrative violations in the field of industrial property. The decree was published on October 6 2006 and entered into force on October 21 2006. Among other things, the new decree provides guidelines on what constitutes an administrative violation, the form and level of penalties, and the types of procedures and responsibilities for handling administrative violations.

Highlights of the provisions relating to trademarks include:

  • The administrative bodies authorized to conduct administrative procedures and impose administrative penalties against trademark infringing acts include the Industrial Property Specialized Inspectors, Market Management Bureau, Customs, the Economic Police and the People's Committees at province/district level.

  • For each act of trademark infringement, the infringer is subject to one of two main forms of administrative penalties, namely a warning or a monetary fine. Depending on the nature and level of the infringement, the infringer shall be liable for complementary remedies and/or restoration remedies.

  • Warnings shall apply only to unintentional violations, minor violations, first-time violations and violations with extenuating circumstances.

  • Monetary fines shall be between one and five times the value of the infringing goods. If the infringing goods are valued at D45 million (approximately $3,000) or more, the act of trademark infringement shall be subject to monetary fines between four and five times that value.

  • The time limit for handling an act of trademark infringement is two years from the date the act of violation was committed. If this time limit expires, the infringer who has committed the act of violation shall not be subject to penalties but may be compelled to provide restoration remedies. However, during the time limits prescribed above, if the infringer commits another act of trademark infringement, or intentionally evades or hampers the imposition of penalties, the time limit for imposing penalties shall be counted from the date the new act of violation was committed or the date the acts of evasion or hampering were stopped.

Duong Le Hoai, LÊ & LÊ, Hanoi

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