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Enforcement of IPRs in Bolivia


Enforcement of IPRs
The main cause of counterfeiting is the lack of significant measures against pirated goods, that too, at the hands of both the enforcement and judicial authorities. Also, the lack of public awareness about IPRs is an additional reason.
Video, music, literature, and software piracy rates are among the highest in Latin America, and rampant counterfeiting persists, including counterfeit medicines that reportedly represent 21% of the Bolivian market.
The laws are as follows:
  • The Decision 486 is the Intellectual Property Common Regime that sets forth the main concepts and regulations for patents, utility models, industrial designs, genetic resources, trademarks, commercial names, and denominations of origin, among others.
  • The Trademarks Directive 2015/2436
Patents, utility models, industrial designs, genetic resources, trademarks, commercial names, and denominations of origin are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Bolivia.
Specifically speaking of designs unregistered in Bolivia or having foreign origins, the same are not protected until registered. It is necessary to obtain registration to seek any redressal or enforcement action.
Also, appointing a representative is not mandatory; nevertheless, a valid domicile in Bolivia is required for notification purposes.
It is preferred to seek registration of trademarks since a mark may be protected in Bolivia after it is established that the mark enjoys a certain degree of repute and recognition amongst the masses. However, if a mark is unregistered, it will be even less likely that it will ever undergo a notoriety recognition process. For this reason, the notoriety declaration is usually sought in the same process where the protection is invoked.
Also, since the language of the court is Spanish, it is necessary to submit sworn translations of all documents, which are issued in a foreign language.
Yes, the Bolivian Civil Code establishes a general statute of limitations of 05 years, applicable in the absence of any other specific provisions.
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
A) Injunctions - No
B) Monetary Compensation - No
C) Raids - No
D) Seizures - No
E) Destruction - No
There are no civil remedies available In Bolivia; only administrative and criminal proceedings can be instituted to seek redressal in IP related disputes.
A) Responsible Authority - Criminal Court
B) Imprisonment Term -
C) Monetary Fine -
In Bolivia, conventional dispute resolution is resorted to, which includes administrative measures and criminal proceedings. ADR may be resorted to in the event where both the parties mutually agree to resolve the dispute through such out-of-the-court methods.
The remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Bolivia include destruction or seizure of the infringing goods.
The applicant must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
If an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures, the customs may withdraw any measures taken in furtherance of such a request to intercept infringing goods.
Criminal Proceedings
There are certain risks of enforcement of IPRs since Bolivia relies on a century-old industrial privileges law instead of any specific law governing industrial property. Bolivia’s government underfunds the protection of IP. The Servicio Nacional de Propiedad Intelectual (SENAPI) has the primary responsibility of IP protection; however, it continues to suffer because of inadequate resources. Similarly, Bolivian Customs lacks ex officio authority necessary to stop the potentially infringing goods without an application from the rights holder.