New guidelines on criminal actions for infringement of IP rights

Vietnam

The People's Supreme Court, the People's Supreme Procuracy, the Ministry of Police and the Ministry of Justice have adopted Inter-Ministerial Circular 01/2008/TTLT-TANDTC-VKSNDTC-BCA-BTP. The new circular, which entered into force on April 2 2008, aims to:

  • provide guidelines on criminal actions in IP rights infringement cases; and

  • contribute to the protection of IP rights in Vietnam.

Certain provisions of the new circular address trademark and geographical indication infringement. The main features of these provisions are as follows:

  • Any individual who deliberately infringes an industrial property right in the course of trade will be deemed to be "causing serious consequences" under Article 171(1) of the Penal Code and will be fined between D20 million and D200 million or sent to a re-education establishment for up to two years where one of the following conditions is met:

    • the individual made a profit of between D10 million and D49.9 million from the infringing activities;

    • the trademark owner suffered material damage in an amount ranging from D50 million to D149.9 million; and

    • the value of the infringing goods ranged from D50 million to D149.9 million.

  • Any individual who deliberately infringes an industrial property right in the course of trade will be deemed to be "causing very serious consequences" under Article 171(2) of the Penal Code and will be imprisoned for a period between six months and three years where one of the following conditions is met:

    • the individual made a profit of between D50 million and D149.9 million;

    • the trademark owner suffered material damage in an amount ranging from D150 million to D449.9 million; and

    • the infringing goods were worth between D150 million to D499.9 million.

  • Any individual who deliberately infringes an industrial property right in the course of trade will be deemed to be "causing extremely serious consequences" under Article 171(2) of the Penal Code and will be imprisoned for a period of between six months and three years where one of the following conditions is met:

    • the individual made a profit of D150 million or over;

    • the trademark owner suffered material damage of D450 million or over; and

    • the infringing goods had a value of D500 million or over.

Criminal proceedings will be initiated only at the request of the owner of the infringed trademark or geographical indication.

Le Hoai Duong, LÊ & LÊ, Hanoi

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