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IP in Vietnam: One Little Pig and a Big Bad Lawsuit

  • Peppa Pig owner, EOne, is suing Vietnam's Sconnect, the owner of Wolfoo, alleging trademark and copyright infringement

  • EOne claims that parts of Wolfoo's audio have been taken from Peppa Pig and that Peppa Pig images appear in Wolfoo videos

  • EOne has requested that YouTube take down 2,000 Wolfoo videos for copyright infringement, which has cost Sconnect an estimated $2 million in lost revenue

  • Sconnect has countersued in Vietnam and has launched a lawsuit in Russia, where an earlier copyright infringement case brought by EOne was dismissed

  • The case is currently before the England and Wales High Court

  • The outcome of the case could impact Vietnam's efforts to improve its intellectual property (IP) image, but could also raise awareness of IP among the general population in Vietnam

  • Vietnam has historically been known for cheap knockoffs and counterfeits, but international agreements and IP law reforms are giving brands and content producers more tools to push authorities to act against IP theft

  • Vietnam is still on the US Trade Representative's Special 301 Report Watchlist for "the use of piracy devices and applications to access unauthorized audiovisual content"

  • In 2021, 24 accusations of IP infringement were made in Vietnam, 19 of which made it to court; between 2011 and 2020, there were 30 accusations made, 21 of which made it to court

  • New amendments to Vietnam's Intellectual Property Law were ratified in 2021, strengthening the legal framework for IP infringement cases and clarifying copyright ownership, industrial design protections, and enforcement measures

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