Hanoi,Vietnam – IIPI, in conjunction with the STAR project in Vietnam and support from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO), conducted a series of workshops aimed at improving the environment for knowledge-based industries in this country. Over 325 Vietnamese judges, policy makers, IP administrators and entrepreneurs took part in three workshops between October 15 and October 22, 2002, to discuss legal and policy issues related to protecting innovation and creativity in this “Emerging Tiger” nation.

“Rampant piracy and other intellectual property rights violations must be curtailed if Vietnam is to grow its knowledge-based industries,” IIPI President Bruce Lehman observed on his recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. “The trip was eye-opening for the international delegation. Piracy in Vietnam is universal. There is no market for licensed products…so there is a lot of work to be done here.”

The recently adopted Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA), which boosted Vietnamese exports to the U.S. by 81% in the first eight months of this year, requires TRIPs-level protection for U.S. intellectual property. The United States is committed to provide training and assistance to Vietnam to enable it to meets its obligations under the BTA.

“Progress in fostering economic development, attracting foreign investment and acceding to the WTO are all contingent on progress in IPR enforcement,” said Ambassador Burghardt. “Promotion of domestic industries and protection of Vietnam ’s cultural and artistic heritage are also directly dependent on having in place an effective IPR regime.”

Judicial Workshop

More than 55 judges and judicial administrators met in Ho Chi Minh City on October 15th & 16th for a workshop focusing on the current legal environment for intellectual property rights and the challenges ahead. The Honorable Dr. Dang Quang Phuong, Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, welcomed panelists and attendees. Additional speakers included Judge Randall Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Judge Vichai Ariyanuntaka of Thailand’s Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court and Judge Rany Simms of the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The judges discussed civil procedure, evidentiary issues, trademark prosecutions, remedies for infringement and the role of specialized intellectual property courts in adjudicating IP cases. Peter Fowler, attorney-advisor at the US PTO and Hank Banker of STAR-Vietnam discussed the U.S.-Vietnam bilateral trade agreement (BTA) and were later joined by Do Khac Chien, Copyright Office of Vietnam for a discussion of copyright policy and law.
Do Khac Chien of the Vietnamese Copyright Office makes a presentation

“The judges were especially interested in trademark issues and specialized intellectual property courts,” said Judge Rader. “Given their enthusiasm and the mission of the STAR team in Vietnam , I hope that IIPI will have more opportunities to address some of the critical issues of the Vietnamese judiciary.”

For the Judicial workshop agenda, click here.

Government Workshop in Ho Chi Minh City

Nearly 150 government policymakers and administrators with responsibility for intellectual property, trade, economics, science and technology and cultural policy participated in this two-day event supported by the National Office of Industrial Property.

Topics discussed included the dynamics of a knowledge-based economy, IP law, policy and treaty diplomacy, trademarks and consumer brand awareness, technological innovation.

U.S. Consul General Emi Lynn Yamauchi discusses IPR in Vietnam
The Hon. Emi Lynn Yamauchi of the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City expressed her thoughts about intellectual property rights succinctly during opening remarks, “Look at IPR protection through the eyes of a foreign investor, a Vietnamese author or musician or businessman. When a nation respects IP rights, it signals to the world its readiness to harness the creativity of its citizens.”

For the Government Training Workshop agenda, click here.

Government Workshop in Hanoi

Modeled after the government workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, more than 130 people participated in this workshop on October 21 and 22 in Hanoi. The program was repeated in two cities so that key individuals in Ho Chi Minh, the commercial hub, and Hanoi, the government headquarters, could both be engaged in discussions.

“Protection of Intellectual Property is an extremely important topic – one that certainly merits our time and energy here today. And, it is a topic that is essential to Vietnam’s continued economic development tomorrow,” said U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Raymond Burghardt.