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Acting against trademark infringement in Vietnam

Trademark rights are civil rights often associated with production and business activities. The purpose of civil relations regarding trademark rights is economic benefits. Therefore, currently, there have been many acts of infringement of trademark rights. Viet An Law has compiled relevant legal issues to provide more information about acting against trademark infringement in Vietnam.

Legal basis

  • Civil Code 2015 ;
  • Intellectual Property Law 2005, as amended and supplemented in 2009, 2019, 2022 ;
  • Law on Handling administrative violations 2012, as amended and supplemented in 2020;
  • Decree 65/2023/ND-CP details and guides the implementation of a number of articles of the Intellectual Property Law on industrial property.

What are trademark rights?

A trademark is one of the valuable assets that determines the success or failure of a business in fierce competition with its competitors. Currently, the Vietnamese legal system does not have specific regulations on trademark rights.

In the most basic sense, trademark rights are the ownership rights of individuals and organizations to trademarks and the right to apply legal measures to prevent and handle acts of unfair competition in registration activities as well as in the process of using trademarks.

What is trademark infringement?

Article 129 of the Intellectual Property Law regulates acts of infringement of trademark rights. Accordingly, individuals and organizations that perform the acts stated in Article 129 of the Intellectual Property Law without the permission of the trademark owner are considered to infringe trademark rights. Such infringements include:

  • Using a sign identical to a protected trademark for goods or services identical to those on the list registered with that trademark;
  • Using a sign identical to a protected mark for goods or services similar to or related to goods or services on the list registered with that mark, if the use is likely to cause confusion. origin of goods and services;
  • Using a sign similar to a protected mark for goods or services that are identical, similar, or related to goods or services on the list registered with that mark, if the use is likely to cause harm. confusion about the origin of goods and services;
  • Using signs identical or similar to famous trademarks or signs in the form of translation or transcription of famous trademarks for any goods or services, including goods and services that are not identical or similar and not related to goods or services on the list of goods or services bearing a well-known trademark, if the use is likely to cause confusion as to the origin of the goods or give a false impression of the relationship between the person using that sign with the owner of the famous mark.

It can be said that the Intellectual Property Law lists quite detailed and specific acts of trademark infringement. Listing types of trademark infringement will help enforce trademark rights more effectively in handling infringement.

Measures to handle trademark infringement

Civil remedies

Applying civil measures to resolve disputes over trademark rights in Vietnam is understood as the court resolving disputes about the legal rights and interests of subjects in legal relations related to trademarks rights.

According to the provisions of Article 202 of the Intellectual Property Law, courts have the authority to apply civil measures to handle individuals and organizations that violate trademark rights. Civil remedies recognized by law include:

  • Force the termination of trademark infringement;
  • Forced public apology and correction;
  • Forced to perform civil obligations;
  • Forced compensation for damages;
  • Forced destruction or forced distribution or use for non-commercial purposes of goods, raw materials, materials, and means used mainly to produce and trade goods that infringe upon property rights intellectual property rights with the condition that it does not affect the ability of intellectual property rights holders to exploit their rights and apply temporary emergency measures such as seizure, distraint, and sealing according to the provisions of Article 207 of the Intellectual Property Law.

Administrative measures

Infringement of trademark rights, whether intentional or unintentional, but not to the extent of requiring criminal prosecution, will be handled by applying administrative measures. The nature of administrative handling measures is to use the power of administrative agencies and administrative decisions to handle acts of infringement of rights, which represents the meaning of punishment and deterrence.

According to the provisions of Article 214 of the Intellectual Property Law, administrative sanctions for trademark rights infringement are applied in accordance with the law on handling administrative violations. Accordingly, sanctions for administrative violations include:

  • Warning;
  • Monetary fine;
  • Confiscation of exhibits and means of administrative violations;
  • Suspension of operations for a limited period of time;
  • Forcible removal from the territory of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam or re-export of goods, articles, or means;
  • Forced distribution or use for non-commercial purposes of intellectual property counterfeit goods, raw materials, materials, and means used mainly for the production and trading of intellectual property counterfeit goods and intellectual property rights with the condition that it does not affect the ability of intellectual property rights holders to exploit their rights and meets other conditions as prescribed by the Government.

Criminal measures

Criminal measures in enforcing trademark rights are applied to acts of trademark rights infringement that constitute a crime according to the provisions of criminal law. Accordingly, based on Article 226 of the Criminal Code, violators can be fined from 100,000,000 VND to 1,000,000,000 VND depending on each case. In addition, the subject may be sentenced to non-custodial reform or imprisonment.

Measures to control exported and imported goods related to trademarks

Measures to control exported and imported goods related to trademarks are measures implemented by customs authorities as prescribed in Article 216 of the Law on Intellectual Property to prevent acts of infringement of intellectual property rights. intellectual property related to imported and exported goods. Those measures include:

  • Temporarily suspend customs procedures for goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights;
  • Inspect and monitor to detect goods showing signs of intellectual property rights infringement.

Above is a detailed article about acting against trademark infringement in Vietnam. If you have any difficulties related to intellectual property law, please contact Viet An Law Firm for detailed advice!

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