Should your industrial design be infringed in Vietnam, there are two main avenues of enforcement which can be pursued, namely, administrative actions and/or civil litigation. This being said however, private mediation via legal professionals is often effective and should be considered as a viable first action in the event of an infringement.
Administrative actions are both cost-effective and time-efficient, and this is usually the most common route for patent holder to take upon detecting infringement. It is a good way to deal with small-scale infringers and to gather evidence for larger scale infringements. Due to the nature of the remedies available and speed of case handling, administrative actions are an especially effective method of putting an immediate stop to on-going IPR infringement.
In the case of industrial design infringement, administrative measures are also widely taken given their effectiveness, especially, when the industrial design infringement cases are handled by Inspectorate of Ministry of Science & Technology, who are proven to be quite efficient and quick in taking actions.
Civil litigation is usually only used in the event of larger scale infringements and, as we know, until now, very few cases are brought before Vietnamese civil courts. This is partially due to the lack of proper IP training and human resources within the judicial system, resulting in somewhat unpredictable case outcomes. Vietnamese authorities are working to improve the civil system however, working in cooperation with international organisations and government agencies.
The civil courts remains relatively inexperienced at dealing with industrial design patent cases by international standards and have only dealt with a limited number of cases to date. In civil actions, right holders can request provisional measures such as preliminary injunctions, as well as claim actual damages or loss of earnings. Where actual loss cannot be determined however, the maximum award is currently set at approximately US$ 25,000.