Thứ Tư, 22 tháng 5, 2019

P2P Lending – The new Form of Credit Extension in Financial Technology Era

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , , , , No comments

Peer to Peer Lending (P2P) has becoming more popular in many countries. This form first appeared in the UK since 2005, then succeeded in the US and China markets. By 2017, P2P lending businesses start to appear in Vietnam in different forms.
Three subject matters in P2P lending relation include: investor (or lender), intermediary company (P2P Lending Company) and borrower. P2P Lending utilizes digital technology platform connecting lenders and borrowers directly, cutting out the credit institution as the middleman. Accordingly, P2P Lending Company provides online services (website, app) that match lenders with borrowers. The idea is that, all borrowing, debt payment (principal and interest) between the borrowers and lenders are recorded and stored by the online transaction platform. This method is completely different from the traditional loan form by increasing the ability to successfully connect lenders and borrower through online platforms along with advanced financial technology systems.
The relationship between lenders and borrowers is civil relation, therefore, the lending or payment is based on the regulations of Vietnam Civil Code. According to P2P Lending Company, the nature of P2P Lending Company is a broker between lenders and borrowers through technology. However, under Article 8.2 of Law on Credit Institutions 2010: “Individuals and organizations which is not credit institutions are prohibited from conducting banking operations, excepting escrow, purchase and sale of securities by securities companies”. Therefore, it is challenging for stakeholders to clearly define the boundary services could extend under P2P mode without violation of the laws.
In a good term, P2P lending creates a new way for approaching the loans when borrowers are not satisfied for the conditions of conventional bank loans. The advantages of P2P lending in Vietnam are the simplification of procedures, fast approval for loans, easy online transaction, in comparison to borrowing from banks which requires a complex and strict examination process.. Since P2P Lending Company offers these services online, it is expected it can operate with lower overhead and provide the service at a cheaper price than traditional financial institutions. If applying appropriately, P2P lending could be a solution to minimize other illegal lending services in Vietnam.
The Vietnam government has assigned The State Bank to build a legal framework for credit extension activities under the form of P2P Lending to promote the positive aspects of this service. At ANT Lawyers, a law firm in Vietnam, with offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, we have technology, IP and business lawyers whom are familiar with development of digital transformation in Vietnam that could bring new ways of doing business leveraging on high rate of Vietnam smartphone users to prove a better services to high tech start-up clients entering Vietnam market.

Thứ Hai, 20 tháng 5, 2019

Why is intellectual property protection important to a company?

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , , No comments

Intellectual property protection is critical to fostering innovation. While it is difficult to determine the exact scope and extent of the problem, every indication is that copyright piracy, trademark counterfeiting, and patent infringement have become significant problems in the business community in general, including small businesses.
Any individual or a company investing in R&D, reaping new results would want to protect their product and reimburse when granted a patent on it. A similar kind of protection is available when it comes to Trademarks and Copyrights. Any company would want to protect their Trademark from being used by a competitor. Copyright protection is best suited to protect an individual’s work, say a software program or a newly created font by a company. I’m sure no company would want to give away their credits and brilliance to their competitors.
Also, it would be good for a company to protect their IP as there are “eyes and ears” that would want to know the know-how of a product which a company produces. It could be categorized as Trade Secret but if their is already a surface protection for a company’s IP, even if a competitor tries to get hold of any information, the ball is pretty much in a company’s court. Hence, protection of Intellectual Property is extremely important to a company, especially for the start-ups.

ANT Lawyers -  A Law firm in Vietnam is supported by a team of experienced patent, trademark, design attorneys with qualification and skills handling full range of legal services relating to intellectual property in Vietnam.  We have specialized in the preparation and registration of patents, trademarks and designs for our clients.
We assist our clients in all steps of the prosecution phase of IP management.

Thứ Tư, 15 tháng 5, 2019

Is a copyright like a trademark?

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , , No comments

Copyright protects creative works. In modern law, copyright is automatic, but registering your copyright with the government may give additional benefits. Copyright includes the right to control who makes copies (thus the name), but also the right to make derivative works — new works that are not identical to the original, but are based on it.

Copyright lasts for the life of the author + 50 years or more, depending on country. If the author is a corporation, it lasts 50 years (again, or more, depending on country). In the US, these are life + 75 years and 95 years, respectively.

Copyright does not apply to individual words, names, titles, or short phrases; it’s considered that if these could be copyrighted, it would be too restrictive. Being able to keep anyone else from using a certain word, for example, could stifle speech to far too great a degree.

That’s where trademarks come in. A trademark is something that identifies a product, company, or brand in trade. You can trademark a word, name, title, or phrase… but trademark rights are much more limited than copyrights. First off, trademarks only apply in a limited field. For example, if I trademark “The Big Beef” for my hypothetical restaurant, I have to specify what areas I’m trademarking it in. Food services, of course, but I might also trademark it for apparel, if I’m planning on selling t-shirts with that on them.

Trademarks can also be geographically limited. That’s why there can be a “Joe’s Garage” in one town, and a different “Joe’s Garage” in another. Each can hold the trademark in the area where they engage in trade.

Engagement in trade is a big part of having a trademark. In the US, even if you register your trademark, if six years go by and you haven’t actually used it in trade, it lapses. If you do use it, your registration lasts for 10 years, but can be renewed as long as you keep using the mark.

So, trademarks can last longer than copyrights… but if you stop using them, then they go away fairly quickly.

Lastly, you can lose a trademark for failing to defend it. If other people use your trademark, and you don’t tell them to stop, you can be assumed to have given up the trademark. You can’t lose copyrights in this way.

Thứ Hai, 13 tháng 5, 2019

How to Close a Business in Vietnam?

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , No comments

All corporations, companies, partnerships, branch offices, representative offices and other business entities are legal entities in Vietnam which can only be dissolved through formal procedures.

1. What are the major challenges with closing a business in Vietnam?

The main thing to remember throughout the process is that the dissolving company, a branch office or a representative office, one  should pay close attention to the involvement of all key stakeholders, i.e. the employees, customers, creditors, business partners and relevant authorities.

The following are key information to gather for thorough analysis

- Company size in terms of capital and number of employees?

-Enterprise’s business sector?

-Tax invoice usage declaration?

-Annual profit?

-Compliance with tax procedures?

-Administrative violations in the field of taxation?

-Any outstanding tax?

-Tax document filing records?

-Other tax matters?

2. What does the dissolution process involve?

Once an analysis has been through, the next procedures mostly deal with reporting and submitting the relevant documents to the various regulatories and tax authorities at each step of the process, terminating contracts, liquidating assets and settling liabilities, and general administrative work such as returning the corporate seal, registration certificates, and having the company’s name removed from the system of the license authorities.

3. How to prepare document to close a business in Vietnam?

Documents submitted to the licensing authority in Vietnam:

-Liquidation notice of enterprise;

-Minutes of the meeting of Management Board / Board of Directors decided on the dissolution of enterprises;

-The company’s decision on liquidation;

-Report on enterprise asset liquidation;

-The list of creditors and the paid debt;

-Documents evidencing that enterprise has fulfilled all of its tax;

-Confirmation on social insurance for employees after the dissolution decision;

-The seal and certificate of seal sample registration.

Documents submitted to the tax authority in Vietnam:

-Liquidation notice of enterprise;

-Minutes of the meeting of Management Board/Board of Directors decided on the dissolution of enterprises;

-The company’s decision on dissolution;

-Audit reports and tax settlements;

-The financial statements for the year to date the decision on dissolution;

-The company’s tax liabilities audited by tax authority;

-Verification of tax obligations of the enterprise.

Closing a business in Vietnam might be a lengthy process and more complicated than setting up a company in Vietnam.  Sometimes, it is important to make a decision to exit and start a new venture.  As a law firm in Vietnam, we do assist clients to close the business, exit the investment and deal with pending issues with licensing authorities including department of planning and investment, department of labour, tax bureau and others.


ANT Lawyers Participating in ASEAN Rail Infrastructure & Expansion 2019

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , , , No comments

In the year 2017, ANT Lawyers, a law firm in Vietnam has been participating in the event of GRS Rail Extension Summit and Thomas Giglione presented about Alternative Dispute Resolution in executing contracts. In the year of­ 2019, ASEAN Rail Infrastructure & Expansion 2019 will bring to Hanoi the most exclusive and influential railway gathering in ASEAN region on May 30th -31st, 2019.

Asia is seeing rapid growth and urbanization, and there is an increasing need to develop transport services to match. And rail is an increasingly viable option to meet the demand for both urban commuting as well as long distance travel. Throughout Southeast Asia, countries are making upgrades to increase freight and passenger rail capacity, extending and rehabilitating existing rail infrastructure, developing urban rail, and pursuing cross border rail and transport linkages.

Vietnam is a country with a relatively complete and early railway system in the Southeast Asia region. On 16 June 2017, the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam officially approved the Revised Railway Laws which supplements many preferential and breakthrough mechanisms and policies. This is the opportunity for Vietnam Railways to open a new page, the period of construction and development so that the railway sector can play its rightful role as the backbone of transport sector, contributing to the reduction of logistics expenses and enhancement of national competitiveness. At the same time, the Vietnamese Government is also planning to allocate a medium-term capital package of USD 350-450 million to Vietnam Railways in order to improve and upgrade the existing infrastructure network to increase railway interval capacity.

Event Highlight
 Forecast the Future Plans of the ASEAN Government in Rail Expansion
 Provide New Partnership Opportunities with Governments and Project Developers
 Feasibility of Rail Project Financing and Investment Opportunities
 Focus on Highly Technical Sessions on Track& Infrastructure Upgrades, Rolling Stock, Signals and Communications from Key Solution Providers
 Discuss Design and Construction Challenges for ASEAN Rail Projects from Leading Consultants and Engineers

At the event, among other speakers, Mr. Giglione, a Mediator and Mediation Trainer of ANT Lawyers shall be presenting about APEC’s New (O.D.R) Online Dispute Resolution Framework for Resolving Cross Border Construction Disputes. It is obvious that, any contracts would involve potential disputes. Court or arbitration litigation is always the last resort while resolving dispute through mediation could be utilized to encourage parties to maintain relationship and continue the business. Since 2012, ANT Lawyers has been promoting mediation to resolve.

Thứ Năm, 9 tháng 5, 2019

What is cybersecurity?

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , , No comments

We depend on technology heavily, which also translates to a rise in online hackers. The bigger the corporation is, the higher the risk of cyber attacks. This is when cybersecurity comes into the picture.
What is cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is the condition of being guarded against criminal and illegal activities that comprise of activities related to computer, information technology, and virtual reality. It also means the measures taken to acquire this condition. One must know the risks, threats, and consequences of cyber attacks.

- Who are the attackers: The attacker could be an external source like a hacker who gets into the system and steals files. The imposter could even be someone from the company itself, like an employee who has an access to confidential information.

- How are the attacks carried out: The attackers through viruses or botnets invade systems. It is even done by using a USB drive or clicking on an unknown link.

- When is the attack carried out: Cyber attacks mostly occur when your systems or the internal staff are vulnerable. There is no specific vulnerability and the attack can occur at any time.

- Which area is hit: Cyberspace is a limitless stretch so the attack can occur in any area.

- Why do these attacks occur: The external agents strike to leak or held captive crucial company data for earning ransom. And the internal sources like the employees do it for competitors in exchange for money. Some even do it as a revenge due to past unpleasant experiences.

- How to tackle cyber attacks: There are three ways of securing your website:

1) SSL Certificate: This certificate validates your website's identity and encrypts the information visitors send or receive from your site.
2) CodeGuard: It is a service that does an automatic backup of your website.
3) SiteLock: It scans your website for any threat and when it is detected, it works effectively to repair it. Also, you would be instantly notified about any attack.

Source : Quora - Jenny Webber, Web hosting expert

ANT Lawyers, a Law Firm in Vietnam with International Standard
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Thứ Tư, 8 tháng 5, 2019

How to Handle Trademark Infringement in Vietnam?

BY Tuan Nguyen IN , , , No comments

Counterfeit destroys businesses, business environments, markets as well as the image of the country. Handling trademark infringement in Vietnam has been practically challenging.

Vietnam government has been trying to curb the counterfeits however the results are limited.  The counterfeit business generates huge profits due to the gap price anywhere in the world.   Almost goods which is either popular or luxury, high or low-value of either domestic or foreign brands are being counterfeited, imitated in Vietnam.  Falsification of household goods, food, cosmetics, shoes and items of higher value such as bags, watches, glasses, etc may be found all over Vietnam. For effective anti-counterfeit, we need a close cooperation among the authority agencies in inspection, control of production, import and circulation in the market.  The Southern Department of Goods Quality Control in Vietnam in one of its regular inspections when cooperating with competent agencies in Ho Chi Minh City found after checking 79 stores with 416 items including: oil, helmets, toys, electronic devices that 33.89% of goods of unsatisfactorily labeled, 14.5% unsatisfactory quality. Where the consumers buy counterfeit goods, they could and should report to State authorities, Anti-Counterfeit and Brand Protection Association as an effort to contribute to curbing counterfeit in Vietnam.  The international brands being infringed could request assistance from local law firms in Vietnam.
ANT Lawyers’ Intellectual Property lawyers in Vietnam have assisted a number of clients being foreign brands in its effort to protect their intellectual property and industrial property rights in Vietnam under Intellectual Property Law through advisory, and implementation service.