The Business Software Alliance in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam and the Intellectual Property Association held a workshop on April 18 on Intellectual Property Rights for businesses.
Improving awareness of IP rights will help businesses protect their tangible and intangible assets, improve their competitiveness and integrate into the global economy, delegates at the workshop said.
The delegates noted the current limited awareness of businesses about IP rights and the rights of authors.
Tran Van Minh, deputy chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said his ministry has worked with central and grassroots agencies to conduct inspections of violations of the rights of authors and other relevant rights annually.
The investigations revealed that in 2017, 54 businesses copied software programmes without permission, with VND 1.65 billion (US 72,600) in administrative fines doled out.
Since the beginning of this year, software inspections were conducted at 24 businesses, with VND 750 million (US 33,000) worth of fines imposed, said the official.
A 2016 survey of the Business Software Alliance found that in Vietnam, 78% of software installed on computers was not properly licensed.
The spread of violations has harmed the rights and interests of owners and affected creative activities, national socio-economic-cultural development and the country’s international economic integration.
Given this, Minh stressed it is time for corporate leaders to review the use of software in their businesses and take action to avoid great losses of prestige and finance.
Hoang Quang Phong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Vietnam has completed legal frameworks and created a full legal corridor to help businesses and people exercise their rights and obligations.
He cited the issuance of the Law on Intellectual Property in 2005 and the law amending and supplementing the Law on Intellectual Property in 2009 to clarify his views. IP rights have also been prescribed in the Criminal Code and Civil Code.
Le Ngoc Lam, deputy head of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, said protecting IP rights, including via criminal prosecution, is an important part of new-generation free trade agreements and a concern of development partners. He suggested state management agencies and businesses seek ways to protect and implement IP rights.
By Linh Bui