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Intellectual property assets: Important source for sustainable development

Being considered as one of top-ranking dynamic economies with high openess in the region, Viet Nam will has oriented to integrate more deeply and widely. Therefore, it is imperative that Viet Nam should update international trends on enhancing intellectual property right protection at more strict level.

IP assets are playing an increasingly important role for sustainable development of the country in the context that development space which bases on raw resources and cheap labor is being narrowed.

Mr. Phan Ngan Son, Deputy Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of Viet Nam (Ministry of Science and Technology) during his conversation with the Science and Development Newspaper.


Mr. Phan Ngan Son

Regulations, mechanisms, policies and activities promoting protection and exploitation of IP rights have a strong impact on economic growth, social objectives in general as well as sustainable development goals in particular. In recent years, regarding IP field, what are highlighted trends in the world and in Vietnam?

In the context that development space which bases on raw resources and cheap labor is getting narrow, IP assets-based development resources are playing an increasingly important role. Thus, Viet Nam and other countries as well pay much attention on IP-related issue, and consider it as an indispensable part of social-economic development policies. Apparently, IP has been seen as a key content in negotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs) and international cooperation agreement on innovation. The highlighted trends in policies and action plans of some countries are focused at these points:

All countries have identified that IT asset exploitation is an important step in an creation cycle, and all resouces will be utilized to ensure effective exploitation and application of IP assets. Additionally, countries have also focus on strengthening connections between stakeholders (institutes, universities - enterprises).

All countries tend to strengthen protection of IP rights at a high level to protect interests of IP rights owners. Countries possessing developed IP systems have applied protection regime for many kinds of non-traditional trademarks such as sound and scent marks, and require other countries to apply same protection via some new-generation free trade agreements as well. In particular, all countries focus on associating IP with environmental and climate change issues, towards ensuring the sustainable development.

And for that target, IP systems in each country have to be constantly improved, and many emerging issues need to be further studied and regulated among IP systems of each countries, such as IP right management, IP right enforcement related to artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, big data, etc. IP right enforcement in the digital environment is one of the new challenges that countries are facing and then, adapting their IP system.

Viet Nam - an economy that is considered as one of the most open and dynamic ones in the region, will integrate deeply and widely, so it is imperative to update these trends in the world. We have recently joined the new FTAs, especially the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Free Trade Agreement between Viet Nam and the European Union (EVFTA). Viet Nam is also amending the IP law system to fulfill its committed international obligations. After the signing of new FTAs, the Ministry of Science and Technoly has collaborated with relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, etc. in organizing various seminars, training courses for businesses, individuals and organizations to update these new regulations. Content of these activities is focusesd on IP assets promotion for sustainable development, which has really become a seamless circuit in implementation of the IP Assets Development Program. Many Vietnamese patents proved to solve environmental problems have been put into production and applied in practice.

The Appriopriate Technology Competition organized by the IP Viet Nam in collaboration with WIPO is emphasized on the purpose of honoring environmental inventions. Additionally, projects supporting development of geographical indications, certification marks and collective marks are also implemented to increase values of key and specific local products, which play a very important role in sustainable development of indigenous resources of different regions of the country.

World IP Day celebrating event in 2018

As you’ve just mentioned, the “IP Assets Development” Program has contributed to creating a new orientation in implementation of activities to support the public and businesses in developing IP assets. Could you share some results of this Program?

The Program has a widespread impact, and is appraised and actively implemented by localities, businesses, and scientists. In addition to participating in the Program approved by the Prime Minister, all 63 provinces and centrally-controlled cities have issued mechanisms, policies and conducted activities to support businesses, manufacturers and communities in developing their IP assets.

During the period from 2011 to 2019, there were 5,000 broadcasting times on IPs at central and local channels, 37,000 people were trained, 10,000 turns of people were educated on IP. While over the period from 2011 to 2015, the Program mainly focused on education and training at a broad scale by providing basic knowledge on IP for businesses and community, during the period from 2017-2019, the training was raised to a higher level with more intensive training courses on management of IP assets. The Program has also supported the protection of 118 key, and specific agricultural products of localities. The Program has also supported 600 businesses on IP, including big companies such as Viet Nam National Textile and Garment Group, Viet Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association, DABACO Group...;

Additionally, the Program also supported protection and application to practice for 51 technical solutions. Some typical projects can be mentioned such as Project on “Application of utility solution No.935 on the production process of omega-3 fatty acid rich products to create functional foods, high quality EPA and DHA supplements” performed by Institute of Natural Products Chemistry, Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology. The result of the project is to apply the utility solution to succesfully produce omega-3 soft capsules and meet the food safety requirements prescribed by the Ministry of Health in the Circular No.43/2014/TT-BYT. The Nature Viet Nam Investment and Development Co.,Ltd is the enterprise that receives the transfer of the utility solution, allocates reciprocal funds and distributes products.

The Project on "Application of Patent No.14431 to produce materials and equipments for treatment of biosafety drinking water" performed by the Viet Nam Institute of Environmental Technology, Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology (patent owner). The result of the project is to successfully produce 3 biosafety drinking water treatment products according with the output that is quality of filtered water meeting the requirements QCVN 01:2009/BYT, including the drinking water sterilization Kit for people in flooded areas with capacity of 10 liters per day, a set of home water filters with capacity of 100 liters per day and water disinfection column with capacity of 2,000 liters per day. Bat Trang Ceramics Trading Joint Stock Company arranges basement and participates in production, introduction and distribution of products after the project finishes. The Project on application of the patent No. 10277 to build a wastewater treatment model for rice and vermicelli production village in Me village, Tan Hoa commune, Hung Ha district, Thai Binh province performed by the Institute of Biotechnology and Technology Food, the University of Technology. As a result, the polluted water environment caused by the manual production of craft villages has beencontrolled and treated via the Project.


During the period from 2011 to 2019, there were 5,000 broadcasting times on IPs at central and local channels,  37,000 people were trained, 10,000 turns of people were educated on IP.


Workshop on “IP Assets Managementand  Technology Commercialization for members of the EIE Project” organized by IP Viet Nam on 28/10/2019

The program has also mobilized a large amount of social resources to invest in the IP assets development. Over past 10 years, while 118 key local agricultural products have been supported by the government, more than 300 products of the same type were allocated funds by businesses and communities for activities concerning IP protection and exploitation.

Protection, management and development of IP assets has become one of the important tasks, solutions prescribed, mentioned and integrated in many documents, programs and plans for the purpose of socio-economic development in general and development of industries, fields and products in particular, such as: Project on developing Viet Nam's rice brand to 2020, vision to 2030 (Decision No.706/QD-TTg dated May 21, 2015 of Prime Minister), National Product Development Program to 2020 (Decision No.2441/QD-TTg dated December 31,2010), High-tech Development Program to 2020 (Decision No.2457/QD-TTg dated December 31, 2010) and the National Industrial Promotion Program to 2020 (Decision No.1288/QD-TTg dated August 1, 2014), the Program “One village, one product” for the period 2018-2020 (Decision No.490/QD-TTg dated May 7, 2018) and many documents promulgating tasks and solutions for socio-economic development of the Government and localities across the country.

In the coming time, in order to promote IP assets to serve more practically and effectively for sustainable development, what should we pay attention to?

In order to promote innovation and to create many valuable IP assets to effectively serve for sustainable development, we need a joint effort of all stakeholders.

In terms of IP, it is necessary to continue raising awareness on IP and create a culture on IP in the community. In particular, businesses need to promote their central role in creating and exploiting IP assets, coordinating with universities and research institutes to create products and technologies with a view to solving practical problems and ensuring sustainable development.

Therefore, for the next stage, the IP Asset Development Program is developed by the IP Viet Nam with business-oriented viewpoint. IP is considered to become one of the effective tools to encourage, promote innovation, technology development, ensure healthy competitiveness, and contribute to promoting development of science, technology and socio-economic of the country. Our goals and expectations are implementing the Program in the upcoming time at a larger and wider scale in compared to that in the period 2011-2020. Therefore, we can effectively implement the National IP Strategy to 2030, meeting the needs of localities, and businesses on protection, exploitation, management and development of IP assets.

WIPO and various international organizations regularly promote and disseminate on innovation strategies for the purpose of sustainable development. However, whether this message is fully and properly perceived at all levels, sectors and social communities? What do we need to do to make this message spread even more strongly in the future?

The Party and the State have always paid attention to the national sustainable development over the past decade by promulgating many guiding policies and guidelines. In particular, we consider innovation as a key tool for materialization of sustainable development goals. It can be said that the tendency of innovation has appeared in all industries, fields and localities to serve for economic and social growth in parallel with the environmental conservation with an view to creating a driving force for national development.

In addition to the initial positive changes, we are also frankly forced to recognize that there are still agencies, units, businesses and people who are not fully aware of sustainable development. Therefore, innovation is about oriented to promote rapid economic growth and social stability without an attention of environmental factors and unevenness among regions and businesses.

In order to spread the spirit of innovation for sustainable development goals, we should focus on training and fostering young generations - those who own the future. At the same time, we should also leverage power of digital medias to make information accessible to the public.

Thank you for your conversation!

This year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) selected "Innovate for a Green Future" as a theme to celebrate the World Intellectual Property Day with the goal of creating a campaign which focuses on innovation and intellectual property (IP) rights supporting innovation as center of efforts to create a green future. Science and Development Newspaper sincerely presents a series of articles on policies on development of IP assets,  patents, utility solutions that have been protected and applied in practice to contribute to sustainable development and create a path to a green future for the country.


Source: Science and Development Newspaper