Until recently, the protection of property rights in Vietnam was rudimentary at best: Contracts were weakly enforced and dispute settlement could take years; the state had ultimate ownership of all land. In 2003, some changes were brought about by a new land law - foreigners could engage in real-estate deals, and foreign investors could lease land for 50-70 years, with renewable terms possible. Since 2009, foreigners who meet certain criteria can own apartments.
In line with Vietnamâ€˜s bid to enter the WTO, an intellectual property law covering, among other things, copyrights and industrial property was enacted. However, intellectual property rights are often infringed and weakly enforced.