In early December 2022, the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Inspectorate hosted a conference to provide recommendations on “Solutions to enhance the efficiency of Industrial Property rights enforcement through administrative, civil, criminal, and border control measures”.

Besides general issues underlying IP rights enforcement, the conference featured a discussion around several highlights on the status quo and future of Vietnamese IP legal proceedings.

Initially, it was shown during the conference that the recent years had witnessed a substantial increase in the number of IP infringement cases and accused brought to trial. This number was reported to be 19 cases/24 accused in the 2021-2022 period, equivalent to the aggregate number in the preceding ten years (i.e., 21 cases/30 accused from 2011 to 2020).

Participants of the conference were also made aware of what was waiting ahead in IP litigation in Vietnam. In particular, the Council of Judges of the Supreme People’s Court had completed the draft Resolution on Intellectual Property, including guidelines for judging, among others, abuse of IP rights, illicit profit from IP right infringement, compensation for damage, etc. The draft Resolution is expected to be published soon, with the exact timeline remaining unknown.

In addition, the Supreme People’s Court is also planning to establish specialized IP courts in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City to adjudicate first-instance trials on IP cases, with appellate proceedings referred to the respective High Court. With this judicial restructuring set to take place in 2023-2024, IP experts may also have the chance to participate in the trial jury.

An effective judicial system can significantly improve the quality of justice available to IP right holders. The proposed reform of Vietnam in IP litigation promises to aid the country in keeping pace with dynamic developments in IP practices and fostering an attractive destination for business and investment.