TPP poses intellectual property rights challenge for Vietnamese enterprises

By VIR, Dam Tuan   April 21, 2016 | 02:24 am PT
The government has conducted random inspections regarding software copyrights at half a thousand companies in the last ten years. Counterfeit software used by enterprises is still rampant and puts them at high risk of cyber crime during this time of global integration.

 The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in coordination with police conducted random inspections of 541 enterprises with over 27,000 computers from 2006-2015. Numerous software violations were detected during the inspections and fines worth more than VND8.6 billion (about $387,000) were issued. 

"We have dealt with 100 per cent of requests to inspect and resolve issues regarding copyrights violations and counterfeit sofware," deputy chief inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Van Minh told a seminar yesterday. 

"Intellectual property rights are a critically important part of the TPP commitments, especially in computer software. Vietnamese enterprises may struggle to comply strictly with intellectual property rights regulations,” he said at the "Vietnamese Businesses and Issues Regarding Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement” workshop.  



The seminar raises many concerns over the IPR violation's risks as Vietnam's enterprises using counterfeit software. Photo by VIR 

Over the last few years, the number of computer software copyright violations "has fallen significantly", but the rate is still very high in Vietnam. Enterprises will have no way of avoiding the rules when the country joins the world’s largest free trade playground, Minh said. 

Roland Chan, a senior director of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), said legal issues are the first problem Vietnamese enterprises encounter when using counterfeit software without copyrights, and they will also face issues relating to cyber security in a super connected world in the near future.

“Enterprises using counterfeit software or software without copyrights will face a high risk of cyber security breaches, cybercrime and attacks by malicious code. Organizations and business owners must be cautious and protect themselves and their businesses from the increasing threats of malware and data theft.

The conference was organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the National Office of Intellectual Property, inspectors from the Ministry Science and Technology; inspectors from the Ministry Culture, Sports and Tourism; the US Embassy and the BSA.

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