Civil Code, 2005:

Civil Code, 2005:
June 18 14:38 2015

The Civil Code was passed on June 14, 2005 and came into force on January 1, 2006. It replaced the former Civil Code, 1995, which had codified all existing legislations on civil matters and created the legal foundation for ownership and civil rights. It also replaced all former regulations on intellectual property. Along with the Intellectual Property Law, 2005, the new Civil Code was passed in order to better conform with the WTO norms and to be able to access it as a member, which was successful as Vietnam became the 150th member of the WTO in 2007.

The provisions concerning intellectual property can be found in part VI “Intellectual property rights and technology transfer” of the new Civil Code from article 736 to article 757.

The Civil Code deals with copyrights from article 736 to article 749. It has lowered the provisions from 35 to 14 in comparison with the former Civil Code, 1995. We can also notice the apparition of the term “related rights” to replace the really long appellation “rights and obligations of performers, producers of phonograms and videograms and broadcasting organizations”.

When it comes to industrial property and plant varieties (articles 750 to 753), the new Civil Code foresees only 4 provisions whereas 26 were present in the former Civil Code, 1995. However, objects covered by the protection of industrial property and plant varieties were extended to “semiconductor integrated circuit layout designs, business secrets, trademarks, trade names [and] geographical indications”.

Technology transfer is on its side discussed from article 754 to article 757.

Finally, another part of the Civil Code can be interesting for foreign clients and/or for domestic clients doing business with foreign parties. The part VII of the Civil Code (articles 758 to 777) deals indeed with “Civil relations involving foreign elements”. Three articles are related to intellectual property: article 774 on copyrights; article 775 on industrial property rights and rights to plant varieties; article 776 on technology transfer.