The remark was made by Deputy Director of the MoIT’s Market Management Department Tran Hung at a workshop on raising awareness of IP rights in Ho Chi Minh City on May 10.
The event, co-held by the Market Management Department and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), aimed to enhance IP cooperation between Vietnam and the RoK and discuss solutions to fight counterfeits.
Hung said implementing IP rights is increasingly important to the socio-economic development of a country, especially amidst the integration into a free trade market. Vietnam has continually attached importance to the protection and implementation of IP rights and achieved many notable outcomes, he said.
He added although there remained many difficulties in the fight against counterfeits and the implementation of IP rights, Vietnam’s managerial agencies always consider IP violations and counterfeits as an act of economic sabotage.
At the workshop, representatives of RoK businesses said they have paid attention to and worked to ensure the IP issue since they began investing in Vietnam. However, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially supporting firms and those making use of low labour costs in Vietnam, haven’t attached much importance to IP rights.
Jaeheon Lee, from the Korea Intellectual Property Service Centre, cited statistics as showing that more and more RoK businesses have been affected by IP right violations, counterfeit products and brands, mainly cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods, in the Vietnamese market. A survey of the RoK’s SMEs operating in Vietnam points out that only some 38 percent of the respondents have had favourable conditions to register IP rights.
She said the legal regulations on IP in Vietnam is relatively complete with the Law on Intellectual Property, the Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code, and the Law on Competition, but punishments for administrative violations are regulated in by-law documents.
This has led to an overlap and caused difficulties for both enterprises and law enforcement bodies, she said, adding that it is also one of the causes of the big number of firms infringing IP rights.
Meanwhile, Vo Xuan Binh, an official of the Market Management Department, suggested RoK companies step up surveying the counterfeit and IP rights violation situation and enhance public-private cooperation to share information and identify counterfeit and genuine products.
Close cooperation between relevant agencies of Vietnam and foreign firms, including RoK ones, is also critical to improving the market management capacity, he added.