Things Foreign Investors Need to Know About IP Rights & Protection in Vietnam

Protecting your IP (Intellectual Property) is an essential part of conducting business effectively & safely in the Vietnam.

Intellectual property (IP) is a word that refers to a brand, idea, design, or other types of products that a person or corporation owns legally. Almost every firm has some sort of intellectual property (IP), which may be considered a corporate asset. Copyright, Patents, Designs, and Trademarks are examples of common forms of intellectual property. An IP may be registered or unregistered. This article will summarize IP rights & protection for foreign firms in Vietnam.

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Vietnam, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), has created its intellectual property (IP) laws that adhere to the WTO’s basic legal principles. As a result, there could be a few significant discrepancies between Vietnamese and other developed countries’ laws.

If a foreigner intends to do business in Vietnam or is already doing so, they must understand how to utilize, protect, and defend their intellectual property (IP) rights. This article talks about the things that a foreign investor must know about intellectual property rights and their protection in Vietnam. 

The Importance of Intellectual Property Protection for Foreign Businesses in Vietnam

Intellectual property (IP) such as intellectual and industrial property, can be legally protected by patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright, and plant variety protection.

Businesses that manage their IP portfolio efficiently can profit from IP protection and in turn, also exploit commercial possibilities in Vietnam. A solid IP strategy also assists firms in attracting funding from potential investors, allowing them to expand into new markets.

IP protection is also critical for promoting creativity by giving a return on investment in R&D. (R&D). Furthermore, a well-planned IP protection strategy will assist firms in preventing others from free-riding on their intellectual property. Importantly, as the genuine owner of IPRs, a firm will be able to use enforcement measures to halt any activity that infringes on their IPRs. (Source)

RELATED: Your Quick Guide to Trademark Registration in Vietnam

Registration and Implementation of Intellectual Property Rights In Vietnam

It is necessary to register most forms of intellectual property (IP) rights in Vietnam to access them. Individual registrations for patents (including innovations, utility models, and industrial designs) are required in Vietnam, although for rights other than industrial designs, one can apply under the rules of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, which is typically easier and faster.To get unitary rights under national or Community Trade Mark registration procedures, either register within Vietnam or apply under the Madrid Protocol. No registration is necessary for copyright, however, it is recommended that copyrights be registered with the copyright authorities.

The Paris Convention’s ‘priority rights’ can aid the local registration of trademarks, designs, and patents by granting rights already registered abroad for the same to become effective in Vietnam if submitted within a certain time limit. 

Implementing IP rights in Vietnam

In Vietnam, intellectual property rights can be enforced at three levels.:

  • Administrative action 

The majority of intellectual property issues are resolved at this level, which is typically quick and simple. There are many authorities, each with its own set of tasks and functions. Penalties may include warnings, fines, confiscation or destruction of forged products, suspension of business licenses, and re-exportation of infringed items out of Vietnam.

  • Civil court action 

This is uncommon in Vietnam for the lack of training of the judiciary in these cases, a lack of specialist IP courts, and Vietnamese culture. However, civil courts can issue preliminary injunctions and compensate for monetary damages.

  • Criminal prosecution 

Government officials, including the office of Customs, have the authority to launch prosecutions, and rights holders may ask for them. In serious, organized, or commercial cases, penalties can include fines, imprisonment, and even imposition of a death sentence.

Conclusively, one should ensure that everyone in their company is responsible for intellectual property protection. Many firms rely on the integrity of their intellectual property, which is unarguably one of their most valuable assets. As a result, both the management and the workers, as well as other organizations with which one has ties, should pay close attention to it.

It may be prudent to appoint a manager with the specific responsibility of being cognizant of and safeguarding your intellectual property rights. A legally trained manager would be an excellent choice in organizations with legal divisions.

Primary Source:

How Can Cekindo Help

Investment in Vietnam consists of multiple procedures that are time-taking and overly official. Having company registration and legal consultant professionals, like Cekindo, by your side can save you a great deal of time as well as provide you a hassle-free experience. Cekindo provides a wide spectrum of ancillary services related to company registration, like license and other documents acquisition, tax and accounting, and HR services.


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