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...]

Vietnam-EU FTA talks on track: Minister

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang has said negotiations between Vietnam and the European Union (EU) over a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) are on right track. Hoang was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying during his Europe trip this week that the two sides are close to concluding the FTA talks in accordance with an agreement signed by leaders of Vietnam and the European Commission during Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to Europe in October 2014. Hoang said at his meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in Brussels on Tuesday the two sides affirmed the possibility of concluding their talks. Vietnam and the EU have completed 13 official rounds of negotiations and interim sessions since the two sides announced to launch negotiations in June 2012. Hoang said there are few differences remaining and that the ministry would work harder to help local enterprises benefit from the trade agreement. The comprehensive FTA with … [Read more...]

VN to bolster technology, trade relations with Israel

At his working session with the Israeli Minister of the Economy, Aryeh Deri, on Sunday, the visiting Vietnamese official said his country wished to intensify multifaceted co-operation with Israel, especially in economics. — VNA/VNS Photo Quang Hoan TRL AVIV (Biz Hub) — More effort should be made to expand trade with Israel to US$2 billion this year and higher in the following years, said Chairman of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Economic Affairs, Vuong Dinh Hue. At his working session with the Israeli Minister of the Economy, Aryeh Deri, on Sunday, the visiting Vietnamese official said his country wished to intensify multifaceted co-operation with Israel, especially in economics. Bilateral trade exceeded US$1 billion in 2014 and shot up by more than 80 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year. Hue said the two countries have massive potential for collaboration, particularly in science-technology, agriculture, … [Read more...]

EVFTA: Vietnamese Businesses Still Passive

Rules of origin, investment environment improvement, government procurement and sustainable development are relatively broad and rigorous commitments addressed in the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). With this pact, Vietnam expects to boost its exports, attract investment capital and raise its position in global supply chains. However, Vietnamese enterprises are still passive and few have specifically prepared for the passage of EVFTA.Expected export growth of 20 percent Mr Le Trieu Dung from the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the EVFTA will bring many benefits to Vietnamese exporters in the EU market and enhance Vietnam’s magnetism to EU capital flows. Vietnam’s export revenue to the EU was projected to climb 15-20 percent per year. The EU is also the second largest donor of official development assistance (ODA) and the largest supplier of non-refundable aid for Vietnam. From 2007 to 2013, the EU provided … [Read more...]

Fake Chinese dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics smuggled into Vietnam in bulk

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Fake Chinese dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics have been smuggled into Vietnam in large quantities this year, a national committee on anti-smuggling said at a conference last Friday. They have been illegally transported in bulk in a more sophisticated way than before, the National Steering Committee on Combating Smuggling, Commercial Fraud, and Counterfeit Goods (Steering Committee 389) said during the event in Hoi An City in the central region. However, the Steering Committee 389 did not give any details about the volume of fake Chinese dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics imported into Vietnam at the conference on finding solutions for coping with counterfeit goods and products infringing intellectual property rights. Many Vietnamese enterprises have registered their brand names identical to existing protected trademarks to deceive consumers into buying their fake dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, the committee said. Those … [Read more...]

Vietnam expects 2 billion USD trade in 2015 with Israel

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Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs Vuong Dinh Hue shakes hands with Israeli Minister of the Economy Aryeh Deri. (Photo: VNA) Vietnam and Israel should make more efforts to expand their trade to 2 billion USD in 2015 and higher in the following years, said Chairman of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Economic Affairs Vuong Dinh Hue. At his working session with Israeli Minister of the Economy Aryeh Deri on June 28, the visiting Vietnamese official said his country wishes to intensify multifaceted cooperation with Israel, especially in economics. Bilateral trade exceeded 1 billion USD in 2014 and shot up over 80 percent in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year, Hue noted, adding that the two countries hold massive collaboration potential, particularly in science-technology, agriculture, security-defence, trade and investment. To reach the 2015 trade target, he asked Israel to create optimal … [Read more...]

Post-FTA export import should not repeat WTO scenario

A export rice warehouse in the Mekong Delta (Photo: SGGP)

Recently signed free trade agreements (FTA) between Vietnam and South Korea and the Eurasian Economic Union are expected to be good opportunity for export promotion. However there is a long distance from expectation to reality, requiring both authorized agencies and businesses to quickly solve related issues to prevent WTO scenario from reoccurring. Vietnam’s WTO membership was supposed to vigorously boost exports. However, the Ministry of Planning and Investment has reported that five years after the WTO entrance, the country’s economy was inferior to that in the previous five years in many fields including Gross Domestic Product growth rate, growth quality and export import. Export turnover increased but the growth mainly came from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) sector. It reached 33.5 percent for FDI sector and only 1.3 percent for domestic sector in 2012. The condition has not changed after Vietnam signed FTAs. FDI exports continued growing strongly. The total … [Read more...]