New Regulations on IP Under the Revised Penal Code in Vietnam

The revised Penal Code came in force on 1 January 2018 with a few amended regulations on IP issues that are important. There is a huge improvement, for example, intellectual property rights enforcement is taking a huge part of the negotiation of free trade agreements between countries. The new penal code is a huge step forwards to meet developed countries regulations. According to the Penal Code of Vietnam, every infringement does not necessarily lead to criminal prosecution. Only infringements of copyrights and relevant rights and infringements of industrial property rights being mentioned in this document and these infringements must be deliberate acts regarding the provision of the Penal Code.

A significant provision of the Penal Code is the criminal responsibilities of the corporate legal entity. Formerly, corporate legal entity infringements regarding copyrights and relevant rights as well as industrial property rights were not defined in the previous version of the Criminal Law which caused disadvantage in determining infringers and penalties. However, in the new Criminal Law, regulations regarding the corporate legal entity infringements are now provided in detail.
Also, in the decree no. 22/2018/NĐ-CP, the right to reproduce works means exclusive rights under copyright which are performed by copyright owners or their authorized persons to make copies of works by any means or in any form, including electronic ones. This new regulation does not provide any rule regarding “provisional backup of works in electronic form” as in the previous decree which is replaced by the decree no. 22/2018/NĐ-CP. Additionally, Criminal Law does not provide any regulations regarding making provisional copies of works.

The fine against the act of infringing copyrights and industrial property rights are more quantitative, namely:
A person who, without the consent of the holders of copyrights and relevant rights, deliberately commits acts which infringe upon copyrights and relevant rights protected in Vietnam as making copies of works, video and audio recordings or making the copies of works, video and audio recordings publicly available shall be liable to a fine of from VND 50,000,000 to VND 300,000,000 (EUR1800 – 11300) or face a penalty of up to 03 years community sentence. The fine against the corporate legal entity who infringes copyrights protected in Vietnam would be VND 300,000,000 to VND 1,000,000,000 (EUR11300 – 37500).

Regarding the infringing against industrial property rights, a person who infringes upon industrial property rights to a brand name or geographical indication protected in Vietnam shall be liable to a fine of from VND 50,000,000 to VND 500,000,000 (EUR1800 – 18000) or face a penalty of up to 03 years community sentence. The fine against the corporate legal entity who infringes industrial property rights would be VND 500,000,000 to VND 2,000,000,000 (EUR18000 – 75000).

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