1. Practical settlement of IP rights disputes at the People’s Courts
According to the statistics of the Supreme People’s Court from July 1, 2006 (after the Law on Intellectual Property was issued) until June 22, 2009, the whole accepted disputes over intellectual property rights of the Court sector were only 108. (of which the majority is copyright disputes with 90 cases; disputes over industrial property rights accounts for 10 cases; disputes over contracts to use works account for 05 cases), disputes over technology transfer contracts accounted for 3 cases).
Thus, it can be seen that, compared with the actual disputes arising, the number of cases related to intellectual property rights accepted and tried by the courts is quite limited. The biggest cause is a series of problems and inadequacies in both the settlement law and the adjudication process, including:
– Long settlement time;
– Lack of effective injunctive relief;
– Difficulty in determining damage caused by IP right infringement;
– The court’s capacity to resolve disputes over IP rights has not met the requirements.
2. The necessity of intellectual property court
As mentioned above, the current difficulties, limitations and inadequacies both in terms of procedures and expertise are showing that Vietnam needs a specialized IP Court. This specialized court should be regulated similarly to other specialized courts such as the Economic Court, the Labor Court, etc., in order to ensure consistency in the entire judicial system of Vietnam.
The establishment of a specialized IP Court will consist of such benefits as follows:
2.1 Facilitating the development of a source of specialized intellectual property judges
Laws governing IP rights are often quite picky for researchers, and the subjects of IP rights protected by such laws are more complex. Therefore, it is necessary to appoint judges with specialized IP knowledge in specialized IP courts. This will lead to higher quality IP litigation and a more consistent and highly qualified pool of IP judges. Although the creation of a specialized IP Court does not guarantee that procedural limitations in IP disputes will be resolved in the short term, specialized IP courts will enhance dispute resolution capabilities by dividing cases to a specific number of specialized judges.
2.2 The issuance of judgments and decisions of the People’s Courts will be more effective
Specialized Courts in general and IP in particular often make decisions more quickly and efficiently, because judges in specialized courts are often required to have depth knowledge, that they can understand the procedures and techniques related to IP rights cases. This saves time and allows court resources to be used more efficiently. With the strengthening of judicial capacity in effectively and efficiently resolving IP rights cases, litigants’ trust in litigation procedure at the People’s Court when there is an IP dispute will also increase.
2.3 Creating consistency in the judgments and decisions of the People’s Courts in the same IP dispute
The establishment of a specialized Court increases the consistency in the judgment of the People’s Court in general on a particular issue. The unification of transferring IP rights cases to specialized courts helps to reduce the possibility of conflicts and contradictions in understanding and handling. Consistency in litigation is important because it reduces uncertainty and increases predictability about the outcome of the case. This can also reduce litigation, as the course of action becomes clearer to potential litigants when they intend to start a groundless case. At the same time, businesses will also be more confident that their investments in technology and IP assets will be protected, allowing them to better plan business strategies and promote economic growth.