a. The Project of amending and supplementing some articles of the Law on Intellectual Property: Eligible to be submitted to the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam for approval
On the afternoon of September 14, 2021, under direction and moderation of Mr. Nguyen Khac Dinh – the Vice Chairman of the National Assembly, for the continuation of the program of the 3rd session The National Assembly Standing Committee, discussed and contributed opinions on the Draft Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Intellectual Property (“Draft IP Law”). The National Assembly Standing Committee agreed that the Draft IP Law was eligible to be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration and discussion for the first time at the coming 2nd Session of the National Assembly.
At this session, the National Assembly Standing Committee heard to Mr. Huynh Thanh Dat – the Minister of Science and Technology (MOST) presenting the Government’s proposal on the Draft Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Intellectual Property and then heard the report on preliminary review of the Law project of the Law Committee of the National Assembly and discussed about this issue.
Having concluded the content of the program of the third session under the direction of Mr. Nguyen Khac Dinh – the Vice Chairman of the National Assembly, the National Assembly Standing Committee found that the law project dossier was prepared meticulously, thoughtfully, in accordance with regulations, with complete attached documents and ensure progress as required. The examination dossier was also prepared thoughtfully, thoroughly, seriously and in consultation with experts and scientists, of good quality and relatively sufficiency and comprehensive, basically agreed and appreciated by the drafting body. The National Assembly Standing Committee considered that the law project was eligible to be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration for the first time at the second Session of the National Assembly (about at the end of this 2021).
Regarding the issues the Government consulted, the National Assembly Standing Committee proposed to keep the name of the law as the Law on amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Intellectual Property as defined in the Law-making Program and because this name was also consistent with the content that the Government are submitting.
Regarding the right to register inventions, industrial designs, layout designs which are the results of scientific and technological tasks using the state budget, the Standing Committee agreed with the plan to assign the registration right to the organization chairing the research, except for subjects in the field of national defense and security. At the same time, it is required to absord, explain and clarify the application of this mechanism to groups of copyright and related rights and to plant varieties; further clarify the mechanism for reasonable distribution of benefits between the State, the organization chairing the research and the author in the spirit of Resolution No. 20-NQ/TW of the Party and continue to review relevant laws to ensure uniformity and consistency.
On the issue of narrowing the violations of intellectual property rights that are administratively sanctioned, the National Assembly Standing Committee basically agreed with the examination content of the Standing Law Committee on not agreeing to narrow the violations of intellectual property rights that are administratively sanctioned but keep the current regulations.
The Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Mr. Nguyen Khac Dinh also proposed that the drafting body and the examining body continue to review specific groups of regulations, noting the groups of contents mentioned by the Chairman of the National Assembly; at the same time, further clarify the issue of continuing to reform administrative procedures in the registration of industrial property rights; review more contents on digital transformation, intellectual property, artificial intelligence, security control when transferring technology abroad.
On the basis of opinions of the National Assembly Standing Committee and examination opinions, the Government shall continue to study, absorb and complete the Draft Law with specific provisions, complete the Proposal and the law project dossier to send to the Law Committee for official examination to ensure the progress and time according to regulations./.
b. Amending and supplementing a number of regulations on e-commerce
The Government has just issued Decree No. 85/2021/ND-CP amending and supplementing a number of articles of Decree No. 52/2013/ND-CP dated May 16, 2013 of the Government on e-commerce.
According to the new regulations, when introducing goods and services on the website, the seller must provide information so that the customer can accurately identify the characteristics of the goods and services in order to avoid misunderstanding when deciding to enter into a contract.
Information on goods published on the website must include mandatory contents shown on goods labels according to the regulations of the law on goods labels, except for information that is product-specific, such as date of manufacture; expiry; production batch number; the frame number of the machine.
Sellers of goods and services that must satisfy investment and business conditions on the list of conditional investment and business lines must publish the number, date and place of issuance of the license or the certificate of eligibility, the confirmation document, or other forms of documents as prescribed by law on business conditions of such business lines.
Forms of operation of e-commerce trading floor
Decree No. 85/2021/ND-CP also stipulates the forms of operation of e-commerce trading floor, including: Website allowing participants to open booths for display and introduction of goods or services;
Website allowing participants to open accounts to perform the process of entering into contracts with customers;
Website that has a sale and purchase section permitting participants to post news of sale and purchase of goods or services;
Social network that has one of the forms of operation specified above and whose participants directly or indirectly pay a fee for the performance of such activities.
Supplementing responsibilities of traders
Regarding the responsibilities of traders and organizations providing e-commerce trading floor services, the Decree supplements regulations for e-commerce trading floors with online ordering function, in addition to the previous responsibilities, traders and organizations providing e-commerce trading floor services are also responsible for: Designating a focal point to receive requests and provide online information to state management agencies about subjects showing their signs of law violation; this focal point shall provide information within 24 hours from the date of receiving the request to promptly serve the inspection, examination, handling of violations and settlement of complaints and denunciations;
Representing foreign sellers on e-commerce trading floors to settle consumer complaints related to goods and services provided by foreign traders and informing tax obligations of foreign sellers when they participate in e-commerce trading floors in accordance with Vietnamese law;
Acting as the focal point for receiving and settling consumer complaints in case a transaction is performed on an e-commerce trading floor with more than 2 parties involved;
Storing information about order transactions made on the e-commerce trading floor in accordance with the law on accounting;
Jointly compensating for damage in case of breach of obligations specified in Clauses 8, 9 of Article 36 that causing damage.
c. News about handling smuggled medical products
Facing the extremely stressful and unpredictable Covid-19 pandemic situation in Vietnam, there have been a number of individuals and businesses taking advantage of this situation to make profits by illegally importing untested and unqualified medical products to sell to the domestic market, affecting the health of consumers.
On September 2, the Market Surveillance Unit No. 7 of Quang Binh Province Market Surveillance Agency conducted an inspection of Ha Thanh Pharmaceutical And Trading Business Company Limited, whose legal representative is Mr. Mai Tuan Vu, and discovered and seized 1,000 Covid-19 quick test kits. Through inspection, the functional force discovered that at the store there were 1,000 Covid-19 quick test kits manufactured by Korea without legal invoices and documents proving the legitimacy of the goods. The Company representative was unable to present the product’s registration number. The Market Surveillance Unit No. 7 has completed the documents, temporarily seized all the above-mentioned exhibits for further verification, clarification and handling according to regulations of the law.
On September 4, the police of Bac Tu Liem district, Hanoi city caught a suspect delivering goods in Phu Dien ward with many suspicious expressions. Through inspection, the functional force discovered that the suspect was delivering 1,000 Covid-19 prevention and treatment drugs with Russian words without any legal invoices. The suspect claimed that he was hired by a person named Thuy to deliver the goods to customers. By professional measures, the Economic Crime Department of Bac Tu Liem District Police summoned Mr. Thuy to the police station. At the police station, Mr. Thuy admitted that the above Covid-19 treatment drugs were collected from online sources to sell for profit. If the sale goes well, they can earn about 100 million dong. Currently, the Economic Crime Department of Bac Tu Liem District Police has temporarily seized all of the above goods for investigation and handling according to regulations of the law.
On September 14, through tracking on e-commerce platforms, the Market Controller of Tuyen Quang Province discovered that an individual was selling a large number of medical masks through a facebook account with signs of violating legal regulations in the field of commerce. In a short time, by professional measures, the functional force have identified the object and his address, so an inspection was carried out. At the time of inspection, the inspection team discovered that there were 13,350 4-layer medical masks packed in paper boxes (50 pieces each). The shop owner failed to present legal documents and invoices proving the legitimacy of the goods. It is known that this store sells household goods, but due to the complicated situation of Covid-19 disease, the shop owner bought medical masks of unknown origin from an unknown person to post on social networks to sell for profit. With the above signs of violation, the inspection team made a record of custody of all the infringing goods and summoned the shop owner to the headquarters of the Market Surveillance Unit No. 1 to verify and clarify the violations in the field of commerce in accordance with regulations of the law.
On the afternoon of September 16, the Market Surveillance Unit No. 1 of Nghe An Province Market Surveillance Agency conducted an unexpected administrative inspection of a truck and discovered that this vehicle was transporting 3,500 3M mask products with signs of smuggling. At the time of inspection, the vehicle owner could not present legal invoices or documents proving the origin of the shipment. The total value of the shipment is estimated at about VND 24,500,000. the Market Surveillance Unit No. 1 has administratively sanctioned the owner of the vehicle VND 8,000,000 and confiscated the entire infringing shipment.
d. News about handling counterfeit goods
Implement the plan to fight and prevent counterfeit goods, goods of unknown origin and goods infringing intellectual property rights for the period of 2021-2025, issued together with Decision No. 68/QĐ – QLTT dated May 12, 2021 of Thua Thien Hue Province Market Surveillance Agency, the Market Surveillance Unit No. 3 has strengthened the supervision of goods in key areas and routes. And recently, on September 14, the Market Surveillance Unit No. 3 coordinated with Huong Thuy Town Police to investigate and discovered that there were 681 jacket products without legal invoices and documents, of unknown origin, with signs of counterfeiting of Adidas, Chanel and Louis Vuitton and Burberry brand, containing in 02 sacks gathered at the roadside of the National Highway 1A, which was on the territory of village 1B, Thuy Phu commune, Huong Thuy town, Thua Thien Hue province with an estimated value of about VND 150 million. The Market Surveillance Unit No. 3 has temporarily seized all of the above goods for verification, clarification and handling according to regulations of the law.
On September 23, the Inter-sectoral Working Group against Smuggling in An Giang Province conducted an inspection of the business household named “Van Song” at No. 50, Dong Da Street, Chau Phu A Ward. Through inspection, the Working Group discovered over 2,400 products including hair spray, nail polish, hair dryer, face mask, etc. of unknown origin, without valid invoices and documents. At the time of inspection, the representative of the business household could not present valid invoices and documents of the above goods. The Working Group has made a record of custody for further investigation and clarification.
At about 13:00 on the same day, the Working Group continued to inspect the business household named “Thanh Ha 1”, at No. 29, Dong Da street, Chau Phu A ward and detected and made a record of custody of more than 600 bottles of hairspray, perfume, nail polish; 53 hair clippers, curlers and 120 hair wax boxes, of unknown origin and of foreign origin but without valid invoices and documents. The owner of the business household could not present valid invoices and documents of the above goods, so the Working Group made a record of custody for further verification and clarification.
Keywords: Elite, Intellectual Property, Bulletin Trademark, Infringement Counterfeit Goods E-commerce, Amendments to the Law on Intellectual Property