Intellectual Property Vietnam Client Alert August 2018 For further information, please contact: Tran Manh Hung Managing Director +84 24 3936 9398 email@example.com Quach Minh Tri Partner +84 24 3936 9605 MinhTri.Quach@bmvn.com.vn Recent Updates on IP Enforcement Practices in Vietnam 1. Governmental Cooperation in Enforcement on Ecommerce Websites The Ministry of Industry and Trade ("MOIT")'s e-commerce management web portal recently reported an initiative to reinforce the cooperation between the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency ("VECITA") and the Market Management Bureau ("MMB") in the examination and supervision of counterfeit goods on e-commerce websites.1 This collaboration serves to implement the Prime Minister's Directive No. 17/CT-TTg dated 19 June 2018 on fighting smuggling, trade fraud, production and business related to counterfeit and low-quality goods, particularly pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, functional foods, herbal medicines and traditional ingredients. While the procedure for the MOIT to receive and handle reported information about e-commerce website violations of law are already provided,2 the above initiative has created a good opportunity for brand owners to further reduce the visibility of counterfeit goods on e-commerce websites by way of filing complaints and/or reports directly to VECITA and/or MMB for their information and actions. Under current Vietnamese law, operators of e-commerce websites (worded as "traders and organizations providing e-commerce services" in the text of law) are required to "[e]liminate from the websites any information of counterfeits, illegally imported goods or goods in breach of intellectual property rights and other regulations upon detection or receiving authentic reports on such information." 3 Operators of e-commerce websites that fail to fulfill the above requirement will be subject to penalties including administrative sanctions of up to VND 40 million (approx. US $1,750) for individuals, and VND 80 million (approx. US$ 3,500) for corporate entities. 4 In addition, the MOIT may publish the violation of these e-commerce websites for public awareness. 5 1 http://www.online.gov.vn/NewsDetail.aspx?CateAlias=tin-tuc&DocId=152 (in Vietnamese only) 2 Article 31, Circular No. 47/2014/TT-BCT of the Ministry of Industry and Trade dated 05 December 2014 3 Article 4.4, Circular No. 47/2014/TT-BCT 4 Article 1.34, Decree No. 124/2015/ND-CP of the Government dated 19 November 2015 amending and supplementing a number of provisions of the Government Decree No. 185/2013/ND-CP dated 15 November 2013 5 Article 30, Circular No. 47/2014/TT-BCT 2 BMVN International LLC August 2018 2. New Customs Fee Schedule Regarding Intellectual Property On 14 August 2018, the General Department of Customs ("GDC") issued Notice No. 4769/TB-TCHQ on collection of customs fees for the inspection and supervision of imported and exported goods with a request for protection of intellectual property rights. Accordingly, as from such date, right owners or their authorized agents are required to pay the customs fee before filing a formal request for inspection and supervision of exported and imported goods requiring the protection of intellectual property rights. The official fee is VND200,000 (approx. US $8.60) per each request, and is non-refundable even when the GDC rejects the request. * * * We will keep you updated with further developments on these matters. If you would like to discuss the specific opportunities and challenges for IP enforcement, especially enforcement on e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, and how our Firm can assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us. www.bakermckenzie.com/bmvn BMVN International LLC (in alliance with Baker & McKenzie) Unit 1002, 10th Floor, Indochina Plaza Hanoi 241 Xuan Thuy Street, Dich Vong Hau Ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: + 84 24 3936 9398 Fax: + 84 24 3825 1432 ©2018 BMVN International LLC. All rights reserved. BMVN International LLC is a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, a global law firm with member law firms around the world. In accordance with the common terminology used in professional service organizations, reference to a “partner” means a person who is a partner or equivalent in such a law firm. Similarly, reference to an “office” means an office of any such law firm. This may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.