Sports and intellectual property rights

Phan Ngan Son, deputy director of the Vietnamese National Office of Intellectual Property, speaks to Việt Nam News Agency on challenges Viet Nam faces in of applying intellectual property rights in sports.

Sports and intellectual property rights
Objective of the World Intellectual Property Day is to inspire people from all walks of life towards the final goal of science and technology development and research application.

What is the significance of the World Intellectual Property Day?

The Intellectual Property Day or IP Day was launched in the year 2000 when all members of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) agreed to observe April 26th as World Intellectual Property Day to raise people’s awareness about innovation, creativity and intellectual property rights. Another objective of the day is to inspire people from all walks of life towards the final goal of science and technology development and research application.

Each year, the WIPO comes up with a theme for the intellectual property rights community worldwide to observe World Intellectual Property Day. This year, the theme will focus on sports, particularly events organised nationally and internationally.

How are intellectual property rights in sports protected in Vietnam?

I’m sorry to say that intellectual property rights practice in Vietnam is still limited, particularly in the field of industrial innovation and design. Most Vietnamese enterprises have only focused on the link between research and development and intellectual property protection for their innovation results. Regarding intellectual property rights in sports, Vietnamese enterprises have only focused on their products’ brand names.

A total 1,897 Vietnamese enterprises have registered 2,622 trade marks in the sporting field. However in the field of invention, over the last 10 years, Vietnam has registered 12 inventions and 83 industrial trademarks with the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).

The NOIP has adopted many policies to support individuals and organisations to have their sport products to register their brand names or trademarks with the office.

Does the NOIP have any policies to protect intellectual property rights of sports equipment?

We have launched many communication campaigns to raise people’s awareness in protecting intellectual property rights in sport facilities and equipment.

 

In the Law on Intellectual Property Rights, we have laid strong emphasis on the role of enterprises in protecting their rights over their sport products.

We hope in the near future, intellectual property rights will be included in lessons taught at all Vietnamese schools. This is a good way to raise awareness for children on the importance of protecting intellectual property rights when they are still small.

Has the NOIP adopted any special policy to help the sport sector get better intellectual property rights protection?

The amount of intellectual property rights registration in the sports equipment field is still very modest.

Further, the Government has not come up with any specific policy on the protection of intellectual property rights in the field of sport equipment. In the meantime, the NOIP has co-operated with the International Intellectual Property Rights to create an IPHub- a network to connect with universities, research institutions and organisations worldwide in this field to share with them their experiences.

At present the NOIP has developed the WIPO-IPAS system and we hope the system will be completed by the first quarter in 2021. We’re confident that when the WIPO-IPAS system is operational, many more intellectual property right registrations in the sport sector will be granted.

VNS

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