Not narrowing the scope of IP rights infringement to be settled by administrative measures

IP Law

IP Law

On March 28, 2022, regarding the draft Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the IP Law, which was just sent by the National Assembly Standing Committee to full-time National Assembly deputies to research and comment. Accordingly, the Standing Committee of the National Assembly did not endorse the proposal to narrow the objects of administrative sanctions in the field of intellectual property as suggested by some.

IP Law
the Standing Committee of the National Assembly meeting

The Standing Committee of the National Assembly said that: the advantage of handling violations by administrative measures is that the dossiers and procedures are simple, fast, and low-cost in order to promptly prevent and stop infringing acts of IP rights, to protect the order of state administrative management, and legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals. This measure has its own basis, nature and scope of application and does not exclude the right of the parties to initiate a lawsuit to the Court according to civil procedures to claim compensation for damage caused by acts of infringing upon property rights…

The changes of some acts of infringement of IP rights from handling by administrative measures to only being settled by order and civil procedure will lead to inadequacies and difficulties such as:

  • Prolonging the time to settle the case, causing costly costs, reducing the attractiveness and competitiveness of the business investment environment, and at the same time, there is a risk of leading to an increase in violations in the field of IP;
  • From a theoretical perspective, the legal relationship of IP is a civil relationship with specific characteristics. Infringement of rights in the field of IP not only harms the legitimate rights and interests of one or a number of organizations and individuals directly related, but also deeply affects the interests of consumers, the whole society and affect the state administrative management order. In many cases, the will and subjective decisions of civil rights holders on IP are not enough to solve the case thoroughly and effective without the participation of competent state agencies;
  • According to the Report on execution of IP law, the handling of disputes and rights infringement by civil means at the Court only accounts for a very small proportion compared to tens of thousands of IP rights infringement cases that have been settled  by administrative measures. It can be clearly foreseen that this change will immediately increase the burden on the currently overloaded Court system, as well as create more challenges for litigants when using civil procedures;
  • And if removal of administrative sanctions for acts of infringing upon rights related to inventions, industrial designs and layout designs in current IP law will likely lead to a legal gap in the promptly detect, prevent and handle violations of the law in the field of industrial property – an important field of IP rights in general.

By Tang Duc Khuong

Enforcement and Litigation Department