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 hopes for early conclusion of TPP talk with US

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung expressed hope for early conclusion of negotiations with the US on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPP) deal while meeting US Trade Representative Michael Froman in Hanoi on April 22. Though difficulties remain ahead, especially in contents regarding market, services and investment, government procurement, intellectual property, State-owned enterprises and labour, the PM noted that the two sides have made long steps forward in the spirit of straightforwardness, sincerity, constructiveness, good will and cooperation. He also repeated the Vietnamese government’s request at a recent meeting with President Barack Obama that the US take into consideration Vietnam’s development level in order to reach a balanced and flexible TPP pact that not only benefits TPP member states but also propels the sustainable and long-term comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and the US. The host thanked the US for its promise to provide capacity-building and … [Read more...]

Skilled workforce key to development

A worker operates machinery at Viet Trung Agricultural Machine Limited Company in Hai Duong Province. The country plans to develop a high quality and professional workforce. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Viet Nam will not retain the advantage of cheap labour costs and target developing a high quality and professional workforce, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, said. Speaking at a recent meeting with a US delegation of Senator Assistants, Anh said Viet Nam was planning to step into a new development stage. Due to this reason, the country would not only improve its labour intensive economy, but also focus on high-tech industries, including precise mechanisms, electronics, the environment and consumer products within five years of a development plan. Moreover, Viet Nam had also been conducting privatisation of State-owned enterprises. The percentage of privatised SOEs was expected to be 90 per cent by 2015. He said that Viet Nam would take specific steps to build and implement international policies and conventions on intellectual property protection for both domestic and foreign firms. The country would also improve its legal and … [Read more...]

Vietnam, RoK exchange copyright information

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Pirate discs are seized in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA) Experts from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea sought how to cooperate in copyright protection and related rights at a conference in Hanoi on April 16. Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan said copyrights and related rights are playing an increasingly important role as they encourage people’s creativity and spur their advancement for each country’s socio-economic and cultural development. Jointly held by the Copyright Office of Vietnam and the Office of the Republic of Korea’s (RoK) Copyright Committee, the conference focused on legal copyright regulations and policies; effective operations of collective management organisations; copyright cooperation between the two countries; and developing the creative industry. In 2014, the Vietnam Literature Copyright Centre under the Vietnam Writers’ Association and the RoK Society of Authors (KOSA) inked a … [Read more...]

Local firms should invest in innovation

Garment and textile products are manufactured at Phuong Dong Garment JSC. Vietnamese firms have been urged to invest in reseach and innovation. — VNA/VNS Photo Ha Thai HCM CITY — Intellectual property law not only protects enterprises but also pushes them to innovate, Deputy Head of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) Le Ngoc Lam said. Lam was speaking at a seminar organised in HCM City early this week by the NOIP on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day that falls on April 26. Lam said it was vital for Vietnamese businesses to increase their budget for research and innovation or technology transfer, facilitating the development of technology nationwide. The NOIP received more than 38,700 applications for trademark registration last year. More than 29,000 patents were granted, nearly 1,270 of which were for inventions, 86 for utility solutions and more than 1,630 for industrial designs. The number of industrial property registration … [Read more...]

Intensifying and deepening Viet Nam – New Zealand comprehensive partnership

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

At the invitation of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency Mr. John Key, the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam His Excellency Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung paid an official visit to New Zealand during 19-20 March 2015. After the official welcoming ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held official talks with Prime Minister John Key and attended an official banquet given by Prime Minister John Key, in the presence of senior ministers and leaders from both New Zealand and Viet Nam. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also called on the Governor General of New Zealand, Lt General Jerry Mateparae, the Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Mr. David Carter, and the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Andrew Little. On 20 March, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung presided over a business discussion with representation from senior New Zealand business leaders, and visited Auckland University of Technology to meet with Vietnamese and New Zealand students and overseas … [Read more...]

Intellectual property law enforces creativity, innovation

Intellectual property law enforcement not only protects enterprises but also pushes them to create and innovate, Deputy Head of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) Le Ngoc Lam said in a Ho Chi Minh City-based seminar on April 14. The seminar was organised by the NOIP on the occasion of World Intellectual Property Day (April 26). According to Lam, it is vital for Vietnamese businesses to expand their budget for research and innovation or technological transfer, facilitating the development of technology nationwide. The NOIP received over 38,700 applications for trademark protection registration last year. Over 29,000 patents were granted, nearly 1,270 of which were for inventions, 86 for utility solutions and over 1,630 for industrial designs. The number of industrial property registration applications has grown by 10 percent annually, reflecting increasing public awareness of the significance of intellectual property rights. However, applications from … [Read more...]