Vietnam’s e-commerce industry is thriving. In 2013, the country’s e-commerce sales reached $700 million. By 2015, this figure is predicted to reach $1.3 billion. This upward trend has, however, led to an increase in fraudulent practices. E-commerce sites are being used to sell counterfeit goods, which breaches trademark law and harms reputable business brands.
In face of this growing problem, the Vietnamese government has implemented Decree 52, which regulates the online space and gives brand-owners greater firepower to track down online infringers. In a recent interview with World Trademark Review, Tu Ngoc Trinh, an attorney-at-law at Tilleke & Gibbins, said: “Perhaps the most significant impact of Decree 52 is that it regulates all types of e-commerce.” This, she says, is because “operators of e-commerce websites that sell goods need to submit a notification to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, while other types of e-commerce websites, such as transaction floors, online promotion sites, and online auction sites, need to go through a registration process.” Tu concludes by saying, “these requirements will improve the management of e-commerce and, in theory, will make it easier to track down online infringers—something that was very difficult to do before.”
Decree 52 also makes clear what brand-owners should do upon discovering sites selling counterfeit goods. Thom Thi Mai Nguyen, a commercial attorney at Tilleke & Gibbins, advises that “the first thing they should do is submit a written notice to the owner of the website and the website’s service provider.” This should be done because “the service provider may be able to apply remedial measures, such as removing the counterfeit/infringing goods from the website, and is also obligated to assist the State management agencies to apply necessary measures to determine the violating acts, by providing registered information, transaction history, and other documents about the violators/infringers.” She concludes by saying, “the written notice will also serve as evidence later.”
To read the full article, please visit the World Trademark Review website.