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April 25, 2013

Roundtable Discussion on Criminal Regulations for IP in Vietnam

A roundtable discussion recently brought together key thought leaders to discuss the many difficulties in implementing current regulations on criminal action for intellectual property–related offenses in Vietnam. Sponsored by USAID STAR PLUS, “Criminal Action in IPR Enforcement in Vietnam” was attended by high-level representatives from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Inspectorate, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the Ministry of Public Security, the Hanoi Police, Hanoi Law University, and the Business Software Alliance. Tilleke & Gibbins was the only law firm represented at the roundtable, with attorneys Loc Xuan Le and Linh Duy Mai having been specifically invited by MOST to share their viewpoints as expert practitioners.

Over the course of the day, the attendees discussed the lack of definition of “commercial scale,” the valuation of infringing goods, the determination of “victims,” the overlap of counterfeiting crimes in the Penal Code, and the possibility of criminally prosecuting offenders who commit IP infringements not for the purpose of profit (e.g., sharing pirated movies online).           

The results of the roundtable will be taken into account by the Supreme People’s Court in the drafting of a new circular on criminal action in the IP field, which is expected to be issued in the coming months.