Vietnam makes Intellectual Property headway hinh anh 1The infographic of 2017 Overall Scores (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) -  Vietnam is ranked 37th among 45 countries in the latest Intellectual Property (IP) Index report compiled by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Centre.

The report, released for the fifth consecutive year, ranks the United States first and Venezuela last.

Its latest ranking puts Vietnam ahead of countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, India and Egypt, but behind the Philippines. It also marks an approximately four percent increase in its overall score to 30 percent (10.34 out of 35) from 26 percent (7.83 out of 30) last year.

“This year’s index, namely ‘The Roots of Innovation’, recognises the indispensable role of intellectual property (IP) in facilitating innovative and creative activity on a socially transformative scale,” said Patrick Kilbride, Executive Director for the Global Intellectual Property Center, at the launch of Vietnam IP Index by AmCham in Hanoi on February 17.

The 2017 Index benchmarks the IP standards in 45 global economies, representing roughly 90 percent of global GDP, Kilbride said, adding that economies are scored against six categories of IP protection: patents; copyrights; trademarks; trade secrets; market access; and enforcement and ratification of international treaties.

Thomas Treutler, Chairman of Amcham’s IT, Telecom and IPR Committee, said the increase in Vietnam’s score this year can be attributed to the country signing the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal and improvements in industrial design protection and the ability to commercialise IP protection.

“Over the last few years, Vietnam has shown strong improvement in the IP sector. The market management authorities and the police seem to be much more active, as evidenced by the fact that hundreds of thousands of counterfeit goods were seized last year,” Treutler said.

He added that in many cases, the operation of businesses producing counterfeit goods had been suspended, which showed the government’s efforts to protect the IP rights of the honest enterprises.

However, although 2016 saw greater government focus on IP, overall efforts remain limited relative to the scale of the challenges, and tend to occur on a case-by-case basis rather than on a large scale, Truetler said.

According to this year’s report, Vietnam’s improvements in the IP sector include putting a basic IP framework in place, particularly for trademark protection, better protection of domain names and action against confusingly similar marks for dissimilar goods.

The report also mentioned some limitations, like inadequate protection of life sciences patents, challenging enforcement environment, gaps in copyright protection, including lack of measures to address online infringements and very high physical counterfeiting rates and rampant online infringement.

Enforcement is still poor, insufficient penalties are levied and administrative inaction still occurs, according to the report.

The Global Intellectual Property Center says it works around the world to champion intellectual property rights as vital to creating jobs, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. — VNA