The Ministry of Science and Technology on March 31 launched a month-long campaign to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day (April 26) with the support of the Software Alliance (BSA).

The campaign is aimed at improving public understanding of intellectual property laws to enhance the recognition, application, development and protection of intellectual property rights; promote research and innovation, apply science and technology for greater productivity and socioeconomic development in Vietnam, and help the society be well-prepared for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) accession.

From March 31 to April 30, the ministry will organise a series of activities to enhance public awareness about intellectual property, such as contests for university students and conferences for businesses.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Deputy Minister Tran Viet Thanh, said educational and training activities will be held during the next one month, and an inspection of the implementation on legal regulations will also continue to be carried out in May and the ensuing months.

Attending the ceremony, Roland Chan, Senior Director of BSA's Compliance Programme in Asia Pacific, said the Alliance appreciated the strong efforts and remarkable initial progress made by Vietnamese governmental agencies in intellectual property right protection over the recent years, especially in relation to computer software.

"There is no doubt that software has changed the world. Vietnam is one of the greatest beneficiaries and a global symbol for what an economy can achieve through technology. I am confident that the one-month campaign will advance further awareness of intellectual property. This is a time for Vietnamese businesses to pay for what they use and manage what they have," Chan said.

During the 2013 to 2014 period, inspectors and monitors at ministries, and for local authorities imposed fines in more than 32,000 cases, worth 139 billion VND (6.61 million USD) for counterfeit, sub-standard goods, and intellectual property infringements.

Last year, inspectors from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism conducted checks at 82 enterprises for compliance with current computer software ownership laws and fined violating companies a total of 1.57 billion VND (more than 74,000 USD).-VNA