Harsher punishments planned for industrial property violations

Vietnam

As part of the Vietnamese government's campaign against industrial property violations, the Ministry of Science and Technology has drafted a decree called Handling of Administrative Violations in the Field of Industrial Property. The provisions of the decree, which will come into force later this year, can be summarized as follows: firstly, administrative bodies, namely, people's committees, inspectors specialized in the field of industrial property, the police, customs and market management bureaux are authorized to impose administrative penalties against infringing acts.

Secondly, the following actions, among others, will be liable for administrative penalties:

  • violating regulations relating to the establishment and exercise of industrial property rights;

  • violating regulations on industrial property obligations;

  • infringing regulations governing patent attorneys;

  • using false or deceptive indications of industrial property rights;

  • infringing industrial property rights;

  • producing or selling counterfeit goods; and

  • illegally hampering the inspection or examination of goods.

Violators will be subject to either a warning or a fine. Warnings will apply to:

  • unintentional violations;

  • minor violations;

  • first time violations; and

  • violations with extenuating circumstances.

Monetary fines will depend on the nature and degree of the violation. Infringers of industrial property rights could face fines of up to D100 million (about $6,400).

Violators may also be subject to (i) the revocation of their certificate of industrial property, and (ii) the confiscation of evidence and equipment used to conduct the infringement. In specific cases, violators may also be compelled to carry out, among other things, one or more of the following measures:

  • remove the infringing elements from goods;

  • correct the false information conveyed by the violating act;

  • submit additional evidence; or

  • destroy the goods that bear the infringing elements.

Le Hoai Duong, LÊ & LÊ, Hanoi

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