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Cablegate: Promoting Ipr Protection in Vietnam

VZCZCXRO1111
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHFK RUEHHM RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH RUEHPB
DE RUEHHI #1148 3010211
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280210Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0375
INFO ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0153

UNCLAS HANOI 001148

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KIPR SOCI PGOV VM
SUBJECT: Promoting IPR Protection in Vietnam

1. (U) This cable is Sensitive but Unclassified. For official use
only, not for dissemination outside USG channels or posting on the
internet.

2. (SBU) Summary: Post hosted a series of two-day workshops for
200 officials of GVN agencies as part of ongoing efforts to boost
Vietnam's protection of IPR (intellectual property rights).
Vietnam has made significant IPR progress in recent years, but
still faces challenges, particularly on enforcement. The workshops
were timely as the GVN is considering how to implement new criminal
provisions for IPR violations contained in recently revised IP
legislation scheduled to go into force in January 2010. The
workshops revealed that many GVN officials do not clearly
understand their duties in the current legal framework. END
SUMMARY.

CASTING A WIDER NET FOR IPR ENFORCEMENT

---------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Post sponsored an October 15-23 series of two-day
workshops in Haiphong, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang, "Enforcement
of IPR: Investigation, Prosecution, Adjudication, and Border
Enforcement." The workshops were held against a background of
newly revised laws regarding enforcement of intellectual property
rights (IPR) in Vietnam.

4. (SBU) The workshops were designed to frame the GVN's discourse
on IP legal implementation and expand discussion from policy-makers
to the enforcement bodies: urban and provincial police, customs,
judges, prosecutors, and market management. These officials
frequently do not communicate and interact effectively on IPR
protection, a deficiency the workshops sought to reduce.
Enforcement agencies engaged in substantive exchanges not only with
their U.S. counterparts (Patent and Trademark Office, International
Trade Administration, Department of Justice, and Homeland Security)
but also discussed the chain of authority, compared roles and
responsibilities in IP enforcement, and discovered areas where they
overlap and conflict.

5. (SBU) There was open debate, sometimes heated, about differences
in implementing IPR laws and regulations in the different
jurisdictions. The Vietnamese police and judiciary were interested
especially in hearing how U.S. agencies investigate IP violations,
coordinate among agencies, and choose laws and regulations under
which to prosecute.

6. (SBU) Over 200 GVN officials participated in the workshops.
More than 20 media representatives attended the workshops in total,
providing print, internet, and Vietnam TV coverage. As part of
Post's other IPR outreach activities, Mission Vietnam also recently
held a half-day seminar on IPR strategies for approximately 70 SME
professionals with a visiting USPTO speaker.

COMMENT:

--------

7. (SBU) These workshops revealed that Vietnam continues to face
challenges to give teeth to its IPR legal framework. Significant
gaps remain between policy-makers' intentions and implementing
agencies' understanding of how to take consistent actions against
IPR infringers. Post will continue to engage relevant stakeholders
- from local software associations and entrepreneurs to government
officials - to encourage progress on IPR legislation and
enforcement. END COMMENT.
Michalak

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