The International Chamber of Commerce’s Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (ICC BASCAP) has released its first report on “Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property in Vietnam”. It revealed factors that contributed to increase counterfeit and pirated products in Vietnam including the disproportionate size of Vietnam’s informal economy; corruption; weak enforcement mechanisms and lack of awareness among consumers of the risks involved.

The report focused on: 1) Studying the status of intellectual property in Vietnam; 2) Assessing the impact of counterfeiting and copyright infringement on the socio-economic development, and the Government’s efforts, in the recent years, to strengthen the protection of copyrights and trademarks. The report highlighted, unlike many other countries, the protection of intellectual property rights in Vietnam is enforced by applying administrative penalties to infringements, while civil and criminal penalties have never been applied or haven’t been considered effective. Therefore, the number of IP infringements has increased rapidly while the enforcement capacity of IPR enforcement is quite limited at central and local levels.

Hence, the report proposed a number of policy and legal recommendations, to improve the situation of enforcement of IPR in Vietnam, also to make the most of the IPR systems, in the most effective way to improve competitiveness, to attract foreign investment, additionally to boost socio-economic development during the integration period. It also recommended the Government focuses on systematically addressing the above-mentioned factors, as they hinder the process of domestic law enforcement. Ms. P Surya Prabha – Representative of ICC – BASCAP emphasized that, in order to progress, the Government should, at first, convey a clear and solid message to infringers that are trading counterfeits and pirating, and enhance enforcement law on IP as well as apply heavier penalties.

With the local support of VCCI, BASCAP will work with Vietnamese stakeholders to implement recommendations outlined in the report, in line with BASCAP’s commitment to make the fight against counterfeiting and piracy a public policy priority.