Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Tran Viet Thanh speaks at the event. — Photo VNA
HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Intellectual protection enforcement agencies nationwide have handled 26,004 cases, with imposed fines totalling VNĐ68 billion, according to Trần Minh Dũng, chief inspector of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Dũng announced the figures yesterday at the launch of the one-month campaign commemorating World Intellectual Property Day.
Dũng said that according to rough statistics from Task Forces (Program 168) in the term 2012-15, enforcement agencies confiscated and destroyed or removed about 70 tonnes of food; tens of thousands of imported bottles of liquor; nearly 27,000 medicine products; 80,900 fertilisers, and millions of electronic goods, handbags, footwear and clothing, all of which faked trademarks and infringed the rights of genuine industrial property owners. They also confiscated tens of thousands of stampless and illegally-imported CDs and DVDs.
In computer software ownership enforcement alone, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Culture-Sports-Tourism (MOCST) Vũ Xuân Thành said, “In 2015, MOCST inspectors spot-checked 89 companies for compliance with existing computer software ownership laws in various places nationwide. Inspecting teams examined 3,942 computers and issued fines for civil offenses worth VNĐ2.5 billion.”
As chairman of the one-month campaign’s launch, Vice Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) Trần Việt Thành said the purpose of the initiative is “press ahead the establishment, application, development and enforcement of IP rights; ensure that IP rights become a useful tool to promote science and technology development, and socioeconomic development as a whole; and create society-wide awareness on the need to observe international agreements related to IP.”
The campaign, lasting from March 31 to April 30, will sponsor educational and training activities, followed by enhanced enforcement activities in the following months, Thành said.
“Going forward, to stick to Việt Nam’s TPP commitments, we will scan, revise and update our legal framework related to intellectual property, especially in association with patents, trademarks, geographical indications, know-how, copyrights and enforcement of intellectual property rights,” Thành said.
“Keeping this in mind, the Vietnamese Government and the country’s entire intellectual property right registration and enforcement system are making steps to improve and take to new heights the efficacy of intellectual property right protection and enforcement in Việt Nam.”
Thành said that in the first quarter of 2016 alone, MOCST inspectors in collaboration with the hi-tech crime division under the Ministry of Public Security checked 20 companies in Hà Nội, Bắc Ninh, Bắc Giang, Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and HCM City for IP infringements related to computer software and took appropriate actions under prevailing laws.
Building on the many years of co-operation with Vietnamese governmental bodies, Roland Chan, a senior director of BSA-The Software Alliance, said that over the years, BSA has initiated many awareness campaigns aimed at educating and assisting companies to address their software licensing and management issues.
Roland said the programmes have been successful, but they are now seeing a rise in cybercrime, which transcends borders. Organisations and business owners must be vigilant to protect themselves and their businesses from the growing threats of malware and data theft through the adoption of an effective and efficient software license management practice, Roland said.
The good news is that with effective management of software assets, the risk of a cybersecurity breach is greatly diminished. Part of BSA’s goal in this new campaign is to draw greater awareness of cybersecurity risks that come with the use of unlicensed software.
Protecting a company from cyber risks is no longer the sole purview of the IT department. Roland said he believes that establishing sound software asset management practices and controls, including a focus on software licensing, is essential for the future of businesses and for Việt Nam. — VNS