What are the causes of counterfeiting and piracy in Panama?
The online presence of fake goods and counterfeits is the major reason for the outspread of pirated goods in the country. Moreover, the access to these goods is obtained by the misuse of small parcels for trade, which are particularly exempted from customs surveillance and control.
Which are the goods that most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Panama?
Alcoholic beverages, medicines, and medical products most often face counterfeiting and piracy in Panama.
Does Panama have a well-established framework for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)?
What are the specific laws/orders/rules laid down in Panama for the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights?
Title VII of Law 35 of May 10, 1996 establishes the intellectual property rights protected in the Republic of Panama. Law No. 15 of 1994 regulates copyrights and Law No. 35 of 1996 regulates industrial property. The IP Customs Regulations (Executive Decree 123/1996, modified by Executive Order 466/2015) – deals with the border control measures.
What are the different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Panama?
The different types of IPRs protected by IPR enforcement in Panama are as follows:
1. Inventions (Patents)
2. Utility models
3. Patterns and industrial drawings
4. Industrial and commercial secrets
5. Trademarks for products and services
6. Indications of origin
7. Denominations of origin
8. Commercial names
9. Signs and advertisement expressions
What are the general IPR enforcement obligations in Panama?
What are the essential to-dos before an IP rights holder initiates the enforcement proceedings?
Is there any limitation period for filing an infringement action?
Yes - The statute of limitations to file this action is 06 years, counted from the last time the unlawful use of an IP right was undertaken, and allows the plaintiff to seek indemnity for damages and losses as well as the suspension of the acts that infringe his rights.
Which of the following IPR enforcement channels is/are available in Panama?
A) Government Authorities - Yes
B) Police Officials - Yes
C) Judiciary - Yes
D) Customs - Yes
Are civil actions available for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in civil litigation?
Which of the following types of civil remedies is/are available in Panama?
A) Injunctions - Yes
B) Monetary Compensation - Yes
C) Raids - Yes
D) Seizures - Yes
E) Destruction - Yes
Are there any other civil remedies available in Panama than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
What is the approximate timeline of civil litigation related to IPR enforcement in Panama?
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in civil litigation?
Are there any disadvantages of civil litigation in Panama? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Is criminal prosecution available in Panama for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party in criminal prosecution?
Which is the responsible authority in Panama corresponding to the types of criminal remedies available? Also, mention the imprisonment term and the monetary fine.
A) Responsible Authority –Supreme Court
B) Imprisonment Term - Trademarks: 04 to 06 years; and Copyright: 03 months to 06 years
C) Monetary Fine - US$10,000 up to US$200,000.00. For companies established in the Colon Free Zone and other Free Zones or Export Processing Zones operating in the Republic of Panama, the applicable fine will be equivalent to 25% of the company’s monthly commercial turnover, but in no case will it be less than US$75,000.00.
In the case of recurrence, the sanctions described in sections 2 and 3 above will be applied for a period of 01 year, and the penalty described in section 1 could be up to 04 times the maximum penalty, of US$200,000.00 that is, up to US$800,000.00.
Are there any other criminal remedies available in Panama than the ones mentioned above? If yes, then kindly explain in brief.
Other criminal remedies available in Panama are as follows:
Suspension of the rights to commercialize or engage in business for a period of 03 months; and
Suspension or cancellation of the operation license granted by the Colon Free Zone or other existing Free Zones or Export Processing Zone in the Republic of Panama.
In case of a suspension, the same will be applied for a minimum period of 03 months.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in criminal prosecution?
Are there any disadvantages of criminal prosecution in Panama? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points?
Are there any alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which allow parties to resolve their dispute out of court?
The option of ADR is not popularly utilized in Panama.
Are border control measures (customs) available in Panama for the enforcement of IPRs?
Is the IP rights holder required to present reasonable evidence to the customs authority/department to support his claims of infringement against the opposing party/importer of counterfeit goods?
What are the remedies available under border control measures (customs) in Panama?
After assessing the merits of the case presented by the Intellectual Property District Attorney’s Office (IPDA), the criminal court will order the forfeiture and destruction of the seized goods.
Who must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement?
It is the applicant who must bear the costs of customs intervention during enforcement.
What happens if an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in Custom Recordal of IPRs?
If an IP rights holder abuses the enforcement measures in custom recordal of intellectual property rights, the customs shall not be liable to entertain the request made by the IP rights holder at the first instance to treat the goods as counterfeit. Therefore, the goods may be commercialized.
Which are the best practices for enforcement of IPRs in Panama?
Are there any risks involved in the enforcement of IPRs in Panama? If yes, then kindly give 2-3 points.