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Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Vietnam rules on enforcement execution

In late August a new Decree on Sanctioning Administrative Violations in the Field of Industrial Property was issued. It replaces previous weak rules with stronger ones on executing enforcement decisions. 
 
Trade name enforcement was complicated by the requirement that infringers had to be requested to change a trade name first. The Business Registration Agency (BRA) could not just revoke an infringer’s business registration if it infringed.  Under the new decree the BRA has the power to do so, upon request by the enforcement authority, in cases where the infringer does not voluntarily change its company name within 60 days from the enforcement decision.
 
A second change involves domain names.  Existing rules allowed revocation of an infringing domain name. But infringers had 1 year to voluntarily withdraw.  The enforcement authority had to request VNNIC (the .vn registry manager) to revoke the domain name. That was clearly far too long. Now the registrant has 30 days from the enforcement decision. If he does not then  the enforcement authority can ask VNNIC to revoke the domain name.
 
The new decree also introduces a more detailed penalty system based on levels of value of infringing goods seized which further differ between individual or business infringers.
 
Vietnam's enforcement system is terribly complicated, with great reliance on the authorities to do a lot of work to enforce decisions. So enforcement can be cumbersome and slow. But the new Decree makes for some improvements.

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