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Cablegate: Vietnam Proposal for Fy 2008 Ipr Outreach Pilot Program

VZCZCXRO0282
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHHI #0996/01 2410625
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280625Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8359
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 5059
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 6443

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000996

STATE FOR EAP/MLS AND EEB/TPP/IPE JURBAN
STATE FOR EEB/TPP/IPE FOR HALLOCK, WATTS, AND KEAT
STATE PASS USTR JCHOE-GROVES, DBISBEE AND RBAE
AMEMBASSY BANGKOK FOR USPTO JNESS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID KIPR ECON ETRD VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM PROPOSAL FOR FY 2008 IPR OUTREACH PILOT PROGRAM

REF: (A) 08 STATE 58059 (B) 08 HANOI 602

HANOI 00000996 001.2 OF 002


1. Mission Vietnam is pleased to submit a program proposal for
consideration by EEB as part of the 2008 IPR Outreach Pilot Program
(REF A). This proposal follows on our May 16, 2008 Roundtable with
U.S. business representatives in Vietnam (REF B) and consultations
with the Government of Vietnam's (GVN) National Office of
Intellectual Property (NOIP), National Copyright Office (COV), and
the Ministry of Industry and Trade's (MOIT) Market Management Bureau
(MMB).

2. Previous IPR outreach efforts identified weak enforcement of
Vietnam's laws; low, non-deterrent penalty levels; a lack of
expertise throughout the ranks of Vietnamese authorities; and low
levels of public awareness as the most critical impediments to the
protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) in Vietnam (REF B).
Officials from Vietnam's Market Management Bureau, which has
primary oversight for IPR law enforcement policies, say that
enforcing IP laws is complicated by the lack of understanding among
retailers of their legal obligations and the economic impact upon
the IP holders from the sale of counterfeit goods. This is not
necessarily limited to small mom-and-pop establishments; Market
Watch officials tell us that some of Vietnam's largest retailers,
including foreign-owned megastores, routinely peddle illicit goods.

3. This outreach project would pursue a general awareness campaign
and serve as a "fair warning" to retailers known to carry illicit
goods, while serving as a starting point for a broader
anti-counterfeit effort throughout Vietnam's retail sector.
Bilateral engagement on the project could help yield improvements as
Vietnam grapples with the challenges of implementing its many new
IPR commitments.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
----------------

4. In conjunction with Market Management, Post proposes to develop a
booklet on IPR and counterfeit goods. The booklet would contain
straightforward information on illicit goods and explain why
intellectual property rights are important to Vietnam and its
citizens and why Vietnam and its citizens should protect IPR. The
brochure would define a counterfeit good, describe the legal and
economic consequences of peddling such wares, suggest locations
where vendors could obtain legitimate goods for sale to consumers,
and list contact information for IP-related departments and agencies
in Vietnam to assist retailers and consumers who would like to
report counterfeit products or learn more.

5. Market Watch authorities would distribute the booklet to
retailers and provincial consumer protection associations in areas
with high rates of counterfeit goods during information sessions.
MMB would also publish the information on their website.

6. The booklet's publication and initial distribution would be
accompanied by a press release coordinated through the Embassy's
Public Affairs Section. If the project proves successful and
supplemental funding allows, Post would expand the effort to reach
small, family-owned stores - the core of Vietnam's retail sector.

7. Post would monitor results by tracking the number of brochures
distributed, gathering feedback from participants of the program,
including retailers who receive the booklet, comparing before and
after rates of enforcement by Market Watch authorities, and
monitoring related press coverage and web traffic at the booklet's
internet site.

PROJECT BUDGET
--------------

8. Post proposes the following project budget:

- Develop, edit, type, print and bind 2,000 thousand copies of a
16-page booklet: $13,125

- Provincial information sessions with retailers and consumer
protection associations (64 provinces): $3,000

PROJECT TIMELINE
----------------

9. Post proposes the following project timeline:

- August 15 to September 12: Information product development


HANOI 00000996 002.2 OF 002


- September 15 - September 30: Booklet printing / shipping

- October 1 - December 31: MMB authorities conduct information
sessions with local retailers and consumer protection associations
and distribute booklets

- November 1 - March 31: Results monitoring

- April 15: Results monitoring report complete. Submit results to
EEB.

10. Please direct questions to Economic Officer Jeff Bowan
(BowanJD@state.gov).

MICHALAK


1

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