On 12 January 2021, a workshop on consultation of the draft amendment to Vietnam IP Law ("Draft Law") was co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism; the Ministry of Science and Technology; and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The workshop attracted around 150 attendees from relevant authorities, corporations, law firms, associations and organization in various sectors. Selected notable issues of the Draft Law that have generated intense arguments during the workshop include:
- Copyrights: Introduces new mechanism called "price negotiation" to resolve a deadlock situation wherein a CMO and a stakeholder cannot agree on royalties; Exhaustion of distribution and import rights.
- Trademark: Introduces sound mark protection; Reduction of the citation period for expired mark; Suspension of examination for tackling citation; New refusal ground for trademark based on plant variety name; and outstanding issues of "bad faith".
- Patent: Proposes security control for inventions before filings for grant of patents in foreign countries; and compensation for pharmaceutical-related patents - which are controversial.
- Plant variety: Proposes to extend this scope to cover “products as processed from harvested materials of plant varieties”.
- Enforcement of IP rights: Proposes to remove administrative action as an available option for rights holders in tackling IP infringement. On another plan, the Draft Law proposes to limit the administrative action to be available for infringement of copyright and related right, trademark, geographical indication and plant variety.
For more details, please access the link attached to this post to have a full read of our legal alert.
The drafting committee has announced the estimated timelines of the Draft Law project, as follows: November 2020: Draft Law released for public consultation June 2021: Finalization of the Draft Law following public consultation October 2021: Submission of the finalized Draft Law to the National Assembly for review and debate June 2022: Passing/enactment of the Draft Law The Draft Law proposes changes to the current IP Law in order for it to comply with the duties and requirements under signed big trade pacts, such as the European Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), most recently the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and the UK Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA). The Draft Law is also expected to prepare Vietnam for its accession to other international IP treaties, such as the Marrakesh Treaty.