Intellectual property rights means rights of organizations and individuals to intellectual assets, including copyright and copyright-related rights, industrial properly rights and rights to plant varieties. However, regulations have been changed by stage.
1/ Different regulations between the Criminal Code 1999 and the Criminal Code 2015
Compared with the Criminal Code 1999, The Criminal code 2015 deleted the crimes of breaching the regulations on the granting of industrial property protection deeds.
However, the Criminal code 2015 still keep 02 (two) Articles for 02 (two) crimes on the intellectual property rights including the infringement of copyrights and related right and another one is infringement of industrial property right with the same infringement activities, namely:
- In regard of copyright and related rights: the activities of reproducing works, phonograms or video recordings; distributing to the public copies of works, phonograms or video recordings;
- In regard of industrial property rights: the activities of infringement against the trademark and geographical indication which are currently protected in Vietnam in the form of counterfeit trademark or counterfeit geographical indication only.
Note that, there are 02 (two) majority differences between Criminal Code 1999 and Criminal Code 2015 which shall be considered as the revolution in lawmaking until now:
- The criminal responsibility of corporate legal entity. From January 01st, 2018, the corporate legal entity shall bear the criminal responsibility for the crimes which are performed by a corporate with the conditions of: the criminal offence is committed in the name of the corporate legal entity; or the criminal offence is committed in the interests of the corporate legal entity; or the criminal offence is under instructions or approval of the corporate legal entity; or the time limit for criminal prosecution has not expired. The corporate legal entity shall bear the criminal responsibility for the infringement upon copyrights and/or related rights and the infringement upon trademark and geographical indication.
- The signs of crimes relating to the intellectual property rights are very clear. Although, the criminal code 2015 use the sign of “on the commercial scale” which is the same with the criminal code 1999 and has not been guided clearly until now, the criminal code 2015 used another signs for settling the crimes on intellectual property including the illegal profit, the loss/damage of the holders/owners of copyrights, related rights and trademark, geographical indication or the amount of the violating goods. In addition, the history of crime or administrative violation of the infringer will be a legal basis for settling the violation. The quantities of these signs have been pointed out, therefore, it will be easy for the owners as well as the authority state bodies in settling the infringement actions against intellectual property. However, regarding to the sign “on the commercial scale”, it is required to have the detail guideline on this sign in the form of a joining circular between Ministry of Justice (MOJ), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), The Supreme People"s Court of Vietnam (SPC) and The Supreme People"s Procuracy of Vietnam (SPP) or a resolution of SPC.
By the way, we believe that the criminal code 2015 will become the effective legal basis against the crimes including the crimes on the intellectual property rights in Vietnam.
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