Controversial drug launched in Vietnam

Vietnam started yesterday selling Pegnano amid massive supports that the generic hepatitis drug is a lifesaver for the poor as well as protests from a Swiss firm that the act violates intellectual rights. The Pegnano 180mcg, produced by Ho Chi Minh City-based Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd Company, has been put on sale at the Cam Ha Drugstore in the city's district 5. Nearly 10 packets were sold for VND1.9 million ($97) each on the first day, said pharmacist Nguyen Thi Cam Ha, head of the store. Controversies arise as Pegnano is sourced from Peginterferon alfa 2a, a compound that Switzerland's La Roche AG says is patented to it. … [Read more...]

Swiss firm opposes VN drugs for patent breach

Switzerland's La Roche AG has demanded a Vietnamese firm to stop making Pegnano on allegations the hepatitis drug uses a compound patented in Vietnam. Roche has sent a letter to Ho Chi Minh City-based Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd Company, requesting the latter to stop producing, circulating and advertising its Pegnano from December 30. Pegnano is sourced from Peginterferon alfa 2a that the Swiss firm says is patented in Vietnam. According to the letter, interferon could not be made in Vietnam without their permission as the compound is enjoying protection under patent No. 2611. Granted in 2002 by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam, the patent is effective till 2017. Roche also demanded the drug to be de-registered at relevant authorities. Sources told Tuoi Tre the Ministry of Health is forming an ad-hoc team today to look into the problem. Meanwhile, there are conflicting opinions on whether Pegnano should still be made considering the Vietnam-made drug is … [Read more...]

Vietnam issues caution on fatally infectious African disease

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Although no cases have surfaced in the country, Vietnamese authorities have issued a nationwide alert for Rift Valley Fever (RVF), a fatally infectious disease originating from Kenya. The Central Health Preventative Department under Vietnam's Ministry of Health said it had informed provincial authorities that there were no licensed vaccines or medicines against the disease to date. Approaches to the control of disease, which is threatening Asia and continental Europe, involve protection from and control of the mosquito and avoiding contact with ill animals. … [Read more...]

Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm faces patent lawsuit

Hepatitis drug made by Nanogen Company, whose amount is the same with foreign's but much cheaper (Photo: Tuoi tre)

A Vietnamese company based in Ho Chi Minh City which makes drugs for the cure of Hepatitis B, has for the first time in Vietnam produced a drug for Hepatitis C in an injection form. However, the Vietnamese company Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd faces a lawsuit after the new medication was recently registered by authorities. Freshview Intellectual Property Law Company in Hanoi, a representative of F.Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Vietnam has filed a complaint in a letter to the Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd Company accusing the company of violating the patent protection law under which Roche is sole owner of Peginterferon alfa 2a the drug they have patented in Vietnam. Roche claims the patent No. 2611 for the mentioned drug was granted by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam in 2002 and is valid until May 2017. Therefore no company in Vietnam can manufacture the interferon compound without permission from Roche. Roche affirmed that the Nanogen Company was violating … [Read more...]

Gold Long John, Microsoft reach settlement in Vietnam’s first copyright case

The apology was part of a settlement that followed Gold Long John being the first company in Vietnam sued for using illegal computer software.

Taiwanese-invested Gold Long John International Co. has issued a public apology to Microsoft Vietnam and Lac Viet in Vietnam's first software piracy case. Gold Long John has also agreed to pay damages concurrent with the value of pirated software found at the company, VND1 billion ($50,000). Last December, Microsoft Vietnam and local software producer Lac Viet sued Gold Long John which produces footwear material for major brands including Adidas, Converse and Nike in Dong Nai province. Negotiations between the firm and the aggrieved parties lasted two months before a settlement was reached. Also, Gold Long John publicly admitted to breaching Vietnamese intellectual property law by using pirated and unlicensed Microsoft and Lac Viet software. Vu XuanThanh, chief inspector at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, has announced that copyright owners should file more civil cases to compensate for financial losses they suffer due to piracy. He added that finding and … [Read more...]

First software piracy case settled

Representatives of BSA and related agencies hold a press briefing on the first software piracy case brought to court in December in HCM City. — VNS File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Gold Long John International Company Ltd, the first company sued for software piracy in Viet Nam, must pay more than VND1 billion (US$45,000) in compensation to Microsoft Viet Nam and Lac Viet Company, under a settlement agreed to by all parties. The announcement was made by the Software Alliance, the leading global advocate for the software industry whose membership includes Microsoft and Lac Viet. Last year, the two companies filed a lawsuit against Gold Long John in the southern province of Dong Nai for using unlicensed software in its business operations. In addition to payment of damages of 100 per cent of the value of the copyright infringement, the company must agree to all demands made by the copyright owners, according to the settlement agreement. This includes making a public apology, which the Gold Long John company has done. The settlement agreement came two months after the court accepted the case. The Gold Long John company has also … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 1/6

Monetary policy contributes to macro-economic stability The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)'s monetary policy management has contributed significantly to macro-economic stability and inflation control, said Cao Sy Kiem, Chairman of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises. Kiem made the remark at a recent press conference hosted by the SBV on the issues related to enterprises' access to bank loans, lending interest and non-performing loans (NPLs) resolution. He held that in the context of difficulties in the economy, the central bank has managed the monetary policy in a flexible and prudent manner and achieved encouraging results such as lower interest rates, stable exchange rate, increasing official reserves, and stable credit performance. In response to the Government's directions, especially Resolutions No.01 and No.02, the SBV has managed the monetary policy effectively. As a result, in the first four months of 2013, lending interest rates have been continuously reduced by … [Read more...]

Seminar discusses intellectual property rights

(VOV) - Intellectual property in the global trade environment and its importance to local businesses were discussed at a seminar in HCM City on May 28. Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan told seminar attendees that intellectual property regulations in recently negotiated free trade agreements (FTA) will present Vietnamese businesses both opportunities and challenges. Vietnamese consumers may have to pay higher prices for products under the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs). But Vietnamese businesses could themselves benefit from the protection of comprehensive IPRs, thwarting the spread of fake consumer goods and protecting the reputations of Vietnam's leading brands. Vietnamese intellectual property laws are currently being strengthened to ensure IPRs will be protected in line with international standards. HCM City's Department of Science and Technology Representative Hoang To Nhu said IPR violations in Vietnam are complex and widespread, even … [Read more...]

Campaign turns spotlight on software piracy issue

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A campaign was launched in mid - May by the Copyright Office of Vietnam, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Business Software Alliance to raise business and consumer awareness towards software copyright. The campaign will focus on educating computer shops on software piracy issues. Computer shops are the top priority since many personal computers are preloaded with unlicensed software, Copyright Office director general Vu Manh Chu told a recent press briefing in Hanoi. The campaign will aim to avert software piracy, by communicating to software retailers the need to respect copyright, as well as the potential consequences of software infringement. This campaign was kicked off initially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, intensifying the pressure on IT shops not to sell and install unlicensed software on computers before selling them to customers. Preinstalling illegal software on new computers encourages buyers to continue to use unlicensed software in the future. Many of … [Read more...]

Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm faces patent lawsuit

Hepatitis drug made by Nanogen Company, whose amount is the same with foreign's but much cheaper (Photo: Tuoi tre)

A Vietnamese company based in Ho Chi Minh City which makes drugs for the cure of Hepatitis B, has for the first time in Vietnam produced a drug for Hepatitis C in an injection form. However, the Vietnamese company Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd faces a lawsuit after the new medication was recently registered by authorities. Freshview Intellectual Property Law Company in Hanoi, a representative of F.Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Vietnam has filed a complaint in a letter to the Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd Company accusing the company of violating the patent protection law under which Roche is sole owner of Peginterferon alfa 2a the drug they have patented in Vietnam. Roche claims the patent No. 2611 for the mentioned drug was granted by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam in 2002 and is valid until May 2017. Therefore no company in Vietnam can manufacture the interferon compound without permission from Roche. Roche affirmed that the Nanogen Company was violating … [Read more...]

Vietnam joins convention protecting satellite TV rights

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All unlawful distribution of satellite broadcasts and encoded television programs in Vietnam are set to come to an end with the country joining the Brussels Convention Thursday. The convention, adopted in 1974, is aimed at protecting broadcasting organizations against unauthorized distribution of programs. It now had a membership of 28 countries, including world leaders in television and satellite technologies, Dr. Vu Manh Chu, head of the Culture and Arts Copyright Department (CACD) of the Ministry of Culture and Information, told a press briefing Wednesday. He added that almost all international television programs beamed by satellite were under the convention's protection. … [Read more...]

Vietnamese pharmaceutical firm faces patent lawsuit

Hepatitis drug made by Nanogen Company, whose amount is the same with foreign's but much cheaper (Photo: Tuoi tre)

A Vietnamese company based in Ho Chi Minh City which makes drugs for the cure of Hepatitis B, has for the first time in Vietnam produced a drug for Hepatitis C in an injection form. However, the Vietnamese company Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd faces a lawsuit after the new medication was recently registered by authorities. Freshview Intellectual Property Law Company in Hanoi, a representative of F.Hoffmann-La Roche AG in Vietnam has filed a complaint in a letter to the Nanogen Biopharmaceutical Ltd Company accusing the company of violating the patent protection law under which Roche is sole owner of Peginterferon alfa 2a the drug they have patented in Vietnam. Roche claims the patent No. 2611 for the mentioned drug was granted by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam in 2002 and is valid until May 2017. Therefore no company in Vietnam can manufacture the interferon compound without permission from Roche. Roche affirmed that the Nanogen Company was violating … [Read more...]

Vietnam human bird flu case in “stable condition”

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The 16-year-old girl found infected with bird flu last week is now in stable condition, doctors confirmed as the World Health Organization warns of outbreak before Tet. Doctors said the girl's condition remained stable after she was hospitalised with a high fever last week from the southern province of Tay Ninh, bordering Cambodia. "She is still breathing with a respirator, but her condition is not worsening which is a good signal," doctor Tran Tinh Hien, deputy director of the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases. … [Read more...]

Farmer ploughs and rakes in a Presidential award

Cao Phi Ho trial operates his machine. — File Photo

VietNamNet Bridge – Making a machine that both ploughs and rakes has earned Cao Phi Ho several plaudits, but he lacks resources needed to have his invention replace expensive imported machines. Cao Phi Ho, 53, from the southern province of Hau Giang's Tan Hoa Village, was recently awarded the Labour Order, third class, by President Truong Tan Sang. Ho was rewarded for his research and for applying science and technology to agriculture production. His ploughing and raking machine has contributed considerably to promoting cultivation, said Nguyen Van Dong, director of the Hau Giang's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. After graduating as a technician from Vinh Long Province's Pedagogy of Technology in 1985, Ho dreamt of inventing a ploughing and raking machine that would help rice-growing farmers save their labour force and money. Despite having such a dream, and due to a shortage of finances, Ho only got a chance to present his ideas and design before Chau … [Read more...]

New global fund to help countries defend tobacco control

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A new global fund is being launched to help developing countries fend off challenges to tobacco control measures by cigarette makers. The $4m (£2.7m) fund is a joint effort by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They say tobacco control gains are being put at risk by the industry's use of trade agreements and litigation. But tobacco companies argue they are protecting investments, including intellectual property rights. The fund has been launched in Abu Dhabi at an international conference on tobacco control. The former New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, said: "The significant gains we have seen in efforts to reduce tobacco use are at risk of being undermined by the tobacco industry's use of trade agreements and litigation." Both philanthropists say the purpose of the targeted fund is to help countries such as Uruguay, which has spent the past five years fighting a challenge by a cigarette company against the use of graphic health … [Read more...]

PM’s visit boosts Vietnam-New Zealand comprehensive partnership

New Zealand PM John Key (right) welcomed PM Dung’s first official visit to the country   on March 19. Photo: VGP

PM Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with his New Zealand counterpart John Key after arriving in Auckland on March 19 to begin his official visit to the oceanic country. The host welcomed PM Dung’s first official visit to the country, saying that it was a significant event taking place at a time when both countries are marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1975-2015). The two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation, especially since the two countries established the comprehensive partnership in 2009, and agreed on a common vision on promoting and deepening the comprehensive partnership to elevate it to a strategic partnership in the future. The two PMs expressed their pleasure with practical developments in bilateral affiliation in politics, trade, investment, security, national defence, education and culture. The two-way trade turnover saw a steady increase annually and reached nearly US$800 million in 2014, approximately a 120% growth within five years since 2009. The … [Read more...]

PM’s visit boosts Viet Nam-New Zealand comprehensive partnership

Photo: VGP

VGP - PM Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with his New Zealand counterpart John Key after arriving in Auckland on March 19 to begin his official visit to the oceanic country. The host welcomed PM Dung's first official visit to the country, saying that it was a significant event taking place at a time when both countries are marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1975-2015). The two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation, especially since the two countries established the comprehensive partnership in 2009, and agreed on a common vision on promoting and deepening the comprehensive partnership to elevate it to a strategic partnership in the future. The two PMs expressed their pleasure with practical developments in bilateral affiliation in politics, trade, investment, security, national defence, education and culture. The two-way trade turnover saw a steady increase annually and reached nearly US$800 million in 2014, approximately a 120% growth within five years since 2009. The … [Read more...]

PM’s visit boosts VN-New Zealand comprehensive partnership

Photo: VGP

VGP - PM Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with his New Zealand counterpart John Key after arriving in Auckland on March 19 to begin his official visit to the oceanic country. The host welcomed PM Dung's first official visit to the country, saying that it was a significant event taking place at a time when both countries are marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties (1975-2015). The two sides reviewed bilateral cooperation, especially since the two countries established the comprehensive partnership in 2009, and agreed on a common vision on promoting and deepening the comprehensive partnership to elevate it to a strategic partnership in the future. The two PMs expressed their pleasure with practical developments in bilateral affiliation in politics, trade, investment, security, national defence, education and culture. The two-way trade turnover saw a steady increase annually and reached nearly US$800 million in 2014, approximately a 120% growth within five years since 2009. The … [Read more...]

Official discusses TPP challenges for Vietnam

The Vietnam News Agency has talked with Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Multilateral Trade Policy Department, on some of the challenges facing Vietnam during the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations (TPP). The official said all involved countries so far have progressed to the final phase of the negotiation process, and they are making efforts to technically conclude the negotiations in the first quarter or early in the second quarter this year in order to submit it to the leaders for approval. He noted that the TPP is a treaty of a very high standard, perhaps even an unprecedented standard, and this causes difficulties for most of the countries involved, especially in some key fields such as protecting intellectual property rights or opening up the goods market. According to Thai, Vietnam’s biggest difficulty is how to get other countries to open their market to Vietnamese goods and services at a degree at which … [Read more...]