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Firms grapple with IP issues

Update: April, 23/2014 - 08:50

Market watch forces inspect a shop in Ha Noi. — VNS Photo Tran Viet

HA NOI (VNS) — Several domestic businesses have not paid much attention to the issue of registering for intellectual property rights and have even hesitated to cooperate with the authorities in preventing counterfeit goods.

This was revealed by Do Thanh Lam, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's Market Watch Department. Figures released by the department, at a conference on the role of enterprises in preventing fake goods in Ha Noi yesterday, showed that they have annually issued fines for hundreds of thousands of violations relating to counterfeit goods. In the first quarter of this year alone, the market watch forces carried out 40,000 checks nationwide and handled more than 25,000 cases involving fines totalling VND70 billion, or US$3.3 million.

However, Lam said the number of violations in reality was much higher than the official figure.

"One of the important reasons is that the enterprises have not registered their intellectual property right to protect their products," he said.

He added that several firms had not cooperated properly with the authorised agencies in preventing fake goods, even for their own products.

According to Vietnamese laws, businesses which own the products' intellectual property rights have to cooperate with the authorities in handling any violations as they have enough legal basis to protect their right.

Statistics from the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) revealed that last year only 106 out of 3.5 million businesses in Viet Nam registered for intellectual property rights.

"The number of applications registered for the rights has reduced. Several firms hesitated to ask the authorised agencies about handling of the violations due to their economic situation," said Nguyen Thanh Hong, a representative from the office.

Hong added that the enterprises should be aware of their rights and mobilise human resources to protect their products.

A recent report showed that fake Chinese goods accounted for 70 per cent of the total fake goods in the US, while in Viet Nam it was 10 per cent.

He was concerned that Viet Nam should take measures to avoid being listed as a country which produces counterfeit goods.

He suggested that businesses should regularly change their product samples, reduce costs, and cooperate with the authorities in resolving the situation. — VNS



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