Deputy Director General of the IP Office of Vietnam Nguyen Van Bay
Talking about the necessity of modifications for the current law on IP, Deputy Director General Nguyen Van Bay admitted that there exist certain inadequacies in regulations on copyright owners, performers, holders of related rights in cases of ownership transfer or use right holder transfer of copyright and related rights; in regulations on promoting the creation, exploitation, and popularization of inventions, industrial designs, and layout designs financed by state budget, and resulting in limited commercialization of these products; and in procedures to register for copyright and related rights as well as the establishment of industrial property right (IPR).
In addition, activities to enforce IP rights are facing several challenges now since infringements of IP rights are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex, especially on the virtual environment.
Finally, the observation of articles in free trade agreements (FTAs) with high requirements in enforcing IP rights like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the European Union–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) has asked for the adjustment of IP laws to better suit international regulations.
When asked about the benefits of implementing IP rights in Vietnam during the participation in FTAs, the Deputy Director General answered that the IP right protection mechanism is normally considered a tool to encourage innovation and fight against unhealthy competition so that creative products, particularly those using cutting edge technologies, can boost economic growth and serve the community.
Therefore, the application of IP rights in Vietnam via FTAs will form a healthy environment to attract technology transfer, investments from other nations and improve the quality, the competitiveness of domestic products, while creating favorable conditions for businesses of the country to enjoy the results of their investment in innovative activities.
Along with the benefits come several challenges, which requires the smooth and close cooperation between the Government, businesses, and related organizations, units in the society.
Commenting on the direction of adjustments to the current IP law, Mr. Bay said that these modifications should promote more innovation, ensure stability, consistency, synchronization, transparency, and feasibility. Simultaneously, state management on IP must be more effective to encourage socio-economic, cultural developments in the country.
Particularly, these seven policy groups will be adjusted:
- Ensure clear regulations on authors, copyright owners, performers, and related rights holders in cases of transfer of copyright and related rights;
- Promote the creation, exploitation, and popularization of inventions, industrial designs, and layout designs financed by state budget;
- Facilitate the process of registration for copyright and related rights, the process of establishing industrial property rights;
- Ensure adequate and balanced level of IP right protection;
- Enhance the effectiveness of support activities for IP;
- Improve the effectiveness of IP right protection activities;
- Ensure the full observation of Vietnam’s international commitments on IP protection during its integration process.
Discussing necessary actions of Vietnam in obeying international laws and exploiting technological advances in the world for its own socio-economic growth, the Deputy Director General stated that the country has made great efforts to maintain an IP system suitable for its development goals, where the State protects the investment results of organizations and individuals in innovative activities and ensure the general benefits of the community.
Statistics from the IP Office of Vietnam reveal that from 2016-2020, around 5,600 foreign patents register for protection in Vietnam annually while this number in the world reaches 3 million a year. This means many technologies are not under patent right protection in the country, which is a pity since the principles of the patent system states that almost all registered patents are publicized to be exploited suitably.
The 3 million new patents a year is truly an invaluable resource to be implemented for socio-economic growth of any nation, including Vietnam.