IP Litigation & Enforcement Guide in VietnamAAA IPRIGHT2
There have been many questions and concerns about the procedure of IP litigation and IP enforcement in Vietnam. However, in the IP industry in Vietnam, we still haven’t had a clear guideline for rights holders as well as the parties related to its procedures. This article will address some common questions and concerns of the IP litigation and enforcement landscape in Vietnam, primarily the sections revolving around civil and criminal enforcement.
Methods for enforcing IP rights in Vietnam
The civil IP cases in Vietnam
- Commercial IP cases that include foreign factors belong to the jurisdiction of provincial-level economic courts.
- Non-commercial IP cases that include foreign factors belong to the jurisdiction of provincial-level civil courts.
- For commercial IP and non-commercial IP cases that do not include foreign factors, district-level economic courts and district-level civil courts will have the jurisdiction to handle that matters respectively.
The procedures for civil enforcement
- To initiate a civil lawsuit, the rights-holder must file a petition along with all required documents to the court within 3 years of the alleged date of infringement.
- After receiving the request, the court will check the formality of the petition to see whether or not it has satisfied the procedural conditions for filing.
- If there are no problems detected, the IP case will be accepted. Following this, the court will issue a notification for the advance payment of court fees (must be paid within seven days).
- After the payment has been accepted and verified, the court will continue to manage the IP case by holding mediation hearings, evidence disclosure hearings, and trials.
- The language used in a civil case’s proceedings is Vietnamese. There is no choice of language.
- Power of attorney (POA) is a compulsory requirement for civil action to be conducted. The POA must be notarized and legalized before being submitted along with the petition.
- According to the law, the average time to trial in a civil case is about 2 – 6 months from the date of acceptance of the case. However, it might take from 12 – 18 months for a court to hear a case in reality due to various reasons.
Interim injunctions and permanent injunctions
For Interim injunctions, the IP rights holders are empowered to petition that the Court implement an interim injunction for goods that are suspected to be infringing IP rights and raw materials, materials, and means for manufacturing and trading such goods if there is a valid concern for the following claims:
- There is a threat of irreversible loss to be suffered by the IP rights holders.
- There is a threat of destruction or removal of suspected infringing goods and relevant evidence if they are not preserved and protected in time.
For permanent injunctions, the IP rights holders are empowered to petition that the courts demand the defendant to cease their infringement. If the courts agree with the infringement claim, they will grant a final injunction. In this case, The IP rights holders should ask for a broadly worded judgment to ensure a comprehensive scope of applicability.
First instance judgment
- IP rights holders may send a request to a higher court for a judgment of the first instance within 15 days of the date of judgment. Subsequent to the acceptance of the notice of appeal, the first-instance court must give notification in writing to the appellant for the request of the payment of the appellate court fee deposit.
- After receiving the court’s notice, the appellant must pay the fee deposit within five days.
- When the payment has been accepted by the court, the first-instance court will forward the notice of appeal to the Appellate Court.
- Later, along with the receiving of the relevant documents from the first-instance court, the Appellate Court will issue a decision to bring the case to an appellate hearing.
The procedures for criminal enforcement
- To initiate a criminal lawsuit, IP holders must file their complaint to the Economic Police.
- After receiving the complaint, the Economic Police would check the formality of the complaint and request for verification of the complaint.
- If the evidence is adequate, they will conduct a raid. If there is sufficient evidence to prosecute, they will issue a decision to initiate legal proceedings against the infringers.
- Given sufficient evidence for the case to move forward, it will then be assigned to the People’s Procuracy. The People’s Procuracy will examine the case files and give the decision that whether or not they should issue an indictment and submit the case to the criminal court.
- Finally, the court will reexamine the files and decide whether to bring the case to trial and hold hearings.
The procedures for criminal appeals
- A criminal judgment of the first instance may be appealed to a higher court within 15 days of the date of judgment.
- After acquiring the notice of appeal, the first-instance court will examine it and deliver it to other government agencies which include the People’s Procuracy and the Appellate Court.
- The Appellate Court will review the files and send them to the People’s Procuracy at the same level.
- From then, they will decide whether they would issue a decision to bring the case to trial and hold hearings.
The IP treaties that Vietnam is a member of:
- Madrid Agreement
- Madrid Protocol
- Hague Agreement
- WTO – TRIPS Agreement
- Berne Convention
- Paris Convention
- Rome Convention
- Patent Cooperation Treaty
*** Other Articles***
– You could visit here to see the Trademark Registration in Vietnam.
– You can also check the Vietnam Trademark Law: Detailed Guide And Legal Notes.
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