Participants discuss the importance of promoting economic development through IP-based industries with U.S. officials and private sector

Washington, DC The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) welcomed today a group of sixteen delegates from Vietnam visiting the United States on an intellectual property rights study mission. The delegation met with IIPI consultants, U.S. government officials and representatives from the private sector to discuss how intellectual property-based industries can be used to boost economic development in this Asian nation.

“We’ve seen how intellectual property rights, when effectively enforced, can make a big difference in the economic development of a country,” observes IIPI President, Bruce A. Lehman. “Respecting patents, copyrights and trademarks is a critical first step for nations like Vietnam to embrace the benefits associated with free trade and securing their future in a knowledge-based economy.”

Today’s presentation and discussion was part of IIPI’s ongoing efforts in Vietnam. Since October, 2002, IIPI has been working closely with Vietnamese officials to train judges on intellectual property rights enforcement and has helped establish guidelines for developing a Vietnamese performing rights collecting society.

Vietnam has accelerated its intellectual property rights enforcement efforts in recent years to meet its obligations under the US-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA), and to position itself for future membership in the World Trade Organization.

“At this point, most of Vietnam’s IPR commitments in the BTA have phased-in,” notes Virginia B. Foote, President of the US-Vietnam Trade Council. “Our IPR delegation is focusing on the enforcement provisions in Chapter II (particularly, Articles 11 through 15) of the BTA and related issues, including: U.S. enforcement strategies, enforcement experience around the world, IPR enforcement obligations as a member of the WTO, and perceived challenges for Vietnam.”

During their visit to the United States, delegates will meet with key U.S. agencies and organizations involved in IPR enforcement, including the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Motion Picture Association of America, Port Authority of New York, Business Software Alliance and the Office of the Mayor of New York City.