Vietnam’s new Penal Code (the “New Penal Code”), which became effective on January 1, 2018, significantly bolsters Vietnam’s anti-corruption laws with respect to the private sector. The New Penal Code sets out numerous corruption-related offenses, including the giving and promising of bribes, the receiving of bribes, the “brokerage” of bribes, and embezzlement. The most significant...

Cambodia signed an Agreement on the Validation of European Patents (“Validation Agreement”) with the European Patent Office (EPO) on January 23, 2017. This agreement will enter into force on March 1, 2018. Cambodia will be the first Asian country to validate European patents in its territory, placing it among 44 countries worldwide that allow protection with a single European patent...

Article 115 of Vietnam’s IP Law prohibits any amendment of a mark in a pending application that “materially alters” the character of the original mark or expands its scope of protection. However, the question of what constitutes material alteration in Vietnam is not easily answered, as the law remains silent, and the interpretation of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) can...

On January 18, 2018, the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Vietnam issued Circular No. 01/2018/TT-BYT (Circular 01) on the labeling of pharmaceuticals (referred to hereinafter as “drugs” for brevity). This circular will take effect from June 1, 2018, and will replace the current drug labeling regulations (Circular No. 06/2016/TT-BYT). Circular 01 includes four chapters and 40 articles,...

Decree No. 08/2018/ND-CP (“Decree 08”), issued by the Vietnamese government on January 15, 2018, and taking immediate effect, amends a number of existing decrees across a wide range of trade areas, with the aim of reducing administrative procedures for doing business. One area impacted by Decree 08 is e-commerce activities, which are governed by the Law on E-Transactions and its guiding Decree...