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 rice strives to become world top brand

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Harvesting the summer-autumn rice crop in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang. (VNA) NDO - The Prime Minister has recently approved a master plan to develop a Vietnamese rice brand name by 2020, with a vision to 2030. Accordingly, by 2030, Vietnamese rice is expected to become a leading world leading brand in terms of quality and food safety. The plan stresses that creating a national brand name for Vietnamese rice is essential and possible. The overall objective of the plan is to raise the awareness of manufacturers, importers, distributors and consumers both at home and abroad on Vietnamese rice products, as well as create a foundation to consolidate and develop markets, and enhance added value, market share and competitiveness of Vietnamese rice products in the world market. Under the plan, by 2020, Vietnamese rice products should be widely introduced across Vietnam and in at least 20 export markets. The intellectual property rights of the national rice brand will be … [Read more...]

Nationwide raids commence with VND13.5 billion of unlicensed software found

World IP Day awareness campaign that was launched on March 31, 2015 by Vice Minister Tran Viet Thanh of the Ministry of Science and Technology

Following the conclusion of a World IP Day awareness campaign that was launched on March 31, 2015. Since the conclusion of the month-long campaign, a total of 8 raids have been conducted against enterprises, netting illegal software valued at more than VND 13.5 billion. The companies involved in this mission are Chin Chen Fuh Viet Nam Molds MFG Co., Ltd. (Long Dinh IZ, Long Dinh commune, Can Duoc district, Long An province; Asia Pacific Plastic Co., Ltd( D-01, Street No. 5, Duc Hoa 1 Industrial Zone, Duc Hoa Dong commune, Duc Hoa district, Long An Province) ; Zongshen Motor Vietnam Co, Ltd(Lot 39G1, Quang Minh industrial zone, Me Linh District, Hanoi) and others. Mr Tran Van Minh, the Deputy Chief Inspector of MOCST, said: "A huge number of illegal software was found during raids against eight big foreign-owned companies. Over a thousand copies of unlicensed software were found in 493 PCs, where these software were being used by the raided companies in their business operations. … [Read more...]

Vietnam willing to work for early TPP negotiation completion

Vietnam is ready to work with other countries involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation towards its early conclusion, Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry Le Hai Binh said in a regular press conference on May 21. Replying a query on the possibility of wrapping up the negotiations and signing the agreement within this year, Binh said Vietnam will follow the principle of fairness with regard to mutual benefits and respect to interests of the TPP member countries. TPP negotiations were launched in 2005 between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It is one of the world’s biggest Free-Trade Agreement (FTA) with the combined gross domestic product (GDP) of all 12 participant countries accounting for 40 percent of the global GDP. It is a treaty of a very high standard, perhaps even an unprecedented standard, and this causes difficulties for most of the countries involved, especially … [Read more...]

Detailed information on Vietnam-RoK FTA to be issued

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The workshop ‘Vietnam-RoK FTA: Committed Contents, Impacts on Vietnamese businesses’ (Credit: vtv.vn) NDO - The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) will issue a book featuring detailed information to help the Vietnamese business community learn more about Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The information was released at a workshop themed ‘Vietnam-RoK FTA: Committed Contents, Impacts on Vietnamese businesses’ in Hanoi on May 21. The event aims to inform Vietnamese businesses of the important contents of the Vietnam-RoK FTA covering commodity and service trade, investment, intellectual property, food hygiene, plant quarantine, rules of origin, customs facilitation, trade protection, technical barriers in trade, e-commerce, competition, economic cooperation and legal regulations. Through the workshop, the relevant ministries can support businesses to prepare business strategies in order to take full advantage of the … [Read more...]

Cooperatives, cooperative groups need a stimulating boost

With available funding, Hong Quang Cooperative Group would not fall into the current perfunctory operational situation.

For a long time, the products of cooperatives, cooperative groups in Phu Yen province have not reached out to external markets, and this has caused difficulties for these units. To improve performance, the cooperatives, cooperative groups in the province need supporting for trade promotion and market expansion. According to Phu Yen Cooperative Union, the province has had 123 cooperatives producing agricultural commodity, handicrafts and salt products, including mushrooms, salt, mulberry, safe vegetables, rice seed, broom, sedge, rattan, art wood... However, the cooperatives perform in villages, communes, the products have not had the opportunity to many consumers. Mr. Vo Hung Tien, Head of Hong Quang Cooperative Group of Woody Crafts (Dong Xuan district), lets known: "After 20 years working, in 2005, the wooden vase was granted the patentability of industrial design by the Intellectual Property Department (MOST). Continuing to innovate, Hong Quang Cooperative Group produces more … [Read more...]

Google wins court bid to avoid ‘Swiss cheese’ copyright law

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Cindy Lee Garcia, pictured in the 'Innocence of Muslims' trailer Google Inc., joined by broadcasters and free speech advocates, beat back an actress’ bid to block her appearance in a controversial online video and avoided a ruling it warned would make "Swiss cheese" of copyright law. Cindy Lee Garcia was "bamboozled" into appearing in an anti-Muslim film which stoked violent protests when it was made public in 2012, a federal appeals court ruled. Nevertheless, the court declined to block the video while her lawsuit proceeds. Garcia said she should be granted an injunction because of her independent copyright interest in her performance in "Innocence of Muslims." Google warned that such a ruling would upend the entertainment industry. The court agreed. "Garcia’s theory can be likened to ‘copyright cherry-picking,’ which would enable any contributor from a costume designer down to an extra or best boy to claim copyright in random bits and pieces of a unitary … [Read more...]