A conference called “Handling Infringement of Domain Names as to IP Rights” was held on 21 July by the Ministry of Science and Technology Inspectorate and Ho Chi Minh City Department of Science and Technology. Its purpose was to help prepare a new Draft for Circular on Domain Names.  

Domain name disputes are controversial because although cases can be heard in court and decisions are being made, there is still no proper enforcement mechanism whereby a domain name decision can be implemented by the National Domain Name operator VNNIC and the registrar thereunder. See here for an earlier discussion of the problem which remains unresolved.  

An illustration of the problem is the  www.ibm.com.vn. A dispute over this domain name started in 2003 but IBM Vietnam were unable to recover it and VNNIC would not act. The infringer Gia Hao Ltd. just disclosed that he has received an official request from Ministry of Science and Technology to have an meeting with IBM Vietnam in Hanoi to mediate the dispute. only through long painful negotiation can domain names presently be recovered.  

The conference invited domain names holders, legal practitioners, IP representatives and agencies to discuss the current situation and possible resolutions for the obstacles. Lets hope the new Circular will resolve the issue rather than layering on more confusion.