Stricter punishments needed to prevent counterfeiting hinh anh 1The market watch of Ninh Thuan province checking products suspected of having unclear origin.(Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA)
- Vietnam needs to increase punishments to deter counterfeiting and infringement of intellectual property rights.

Tran Huu Linh, director of the Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance, said that counterfeiting and infringement of intellectual property rights were now rampant in a number of provinces and cities.

“Prevention of counterfeiting is a pressing issue,” Linh said at a meeting between the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Science and Technology on December 17 to enhance cooperation in the fight against trade fraud.

Linh said current punishments were not strong enough. For example, a fine of just 200 million VND (8,800 USD) for intellectual property violations was too low. “It is necessary to have stricter punishments, and even consider applying criminal charges.”

Linh said the directorate this year would prioritise preventing and fighting counterfeit products and products with unclear origin. Goods in focus include food, supplementary food, clothing, jewellery, watches and footwear.

The Directorate of Market Surveillance wants to ensure more than 90 percent of business households in provinces and cities where counterfeiting was rampant would not sell fake goods and products of unclear origin by the end of 2020. The market watch would implement inspections in 20 provinces and cities in 2020.

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said that the ministry would proactively work with relevant agencies to enhance market management. He said the ministry was willing to provide training about intellectual property to officials of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

In addition, Ngoc Anh said that it was important to improve awareness of both consumers and firms about intellectual property rights and product origin.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said that a detailed action plan would be developed to promote cooperation between the two ministries in fighting against counterfeit goods and infringement of intellectual property rights./.