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Digital content firms are at disadvantage in international lawsuits

Many enterprises say that Vietnam lacks effective tools to fight unhealthy competition. There are legal documents to cover the issue but it is difficult to apply and enforce them.
Ta Manh Hoang, CEO of Sconnect

Ta Manh Hoang, CEO of Sconnect, told a recent seminar on protecting IP in the digital environment that Vietnam lacks specific policies and activities to support digital content firms.

E-commerce, tourism and cargo transport now account for a large proportion and have seen growth rates increase 2-3 times, opening up great opportunities for digital technology firms.

Vietnam has about 700,000 businesses involved in the digital economy with a young, creative and adaptable workforce.

However, Hoang thinks that digital technology businesses are facing many challenges. A legal framework has been set up to ensure healthy competition, but it is difficult to apply to cross-border platforms. 

Vietnam also lacks effective tools to fight monopolies and unhealthy competition that could protect Vietnam’s firms in cyberspace.

There are many problems in the application of current regulations to foreign subjects, thus leading to damages to the legitimate rights and benefits of domestic firms. That is not to mention the risks of cyberattacks and the lack of high-quality human resources.

Hoang said Sconnect is facing problems as its rival Entertainment One UK Limited exploits policies on cross-border platforms to conduct unhealthy competition in the cases of ‘Wolfoo’ and ‘Peppa Pig’. 

Sconnect’s operation has been interrupted as it has had to deploy legal activities and cannot do business with partners.

Vo Thanh Hai, Viettel Media CEO, said that copyright infringement in Vietnam is a burning issue. He emphasized the role of state management agencies in promoting and directly negotiating with international businesses and platforms. This lays down a foundation for the next step – protecting the IP for domestic firms when they still lack  resources.

Huy Pham, director of MeTub Office in Hanoi, said digital content creators need to have an awareness about copyright issues. They need to register copyright and IP right when producing content and putting products online. 

They also need to ensure registration rights when they have ideas, and do this in the international market as well. Only by doing this will they have the legal basis to protect their rights in legal disputes. 

Tran Le Hong, deputy head of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP), said that while state management agencies organize events to support businesses to protect their IP rights, businesses don’t pay attention to these. 

The perception about IP rights needs to change fundamentally; otherwise, it will be impossible to solve cases that arise.

Duy Vu

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