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Colombia's IP progress warrants change in designation from the United States Trade Representative

By Vera Abogados - 08/05/2019
Colombia's IP progress warrants change in designation from the United States Trade Representative

On April 25, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights. The Special 301 Report identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce IP rights or otherwise deny market access to U.S. innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.

In 2019 Colombia is placed on the Watch List, after an Out-of-Cycle Review in 2018 warrant the change in designation from the Priority Watch List, which present for the USTR the most significant concerns regarding inadequate or ineffective IP protection or enforcement.

“In July 2018, Colombia enacted copyright law amendments to extend the term of copyright protection, impose civil liability for circumvention of technological protection measures, and strengthen enforcement of copyright and related rights. Colombia is also actively engaging with the United States on implementing notice-and-takedown and safe harbor provisions for Internet service providers”, the report highlights.

The United States commends Colombia on these accomplishments but notes that the country still needs to make additional progress on remaining intellectual property (IP)-related commitments under the United States—Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) particularly provisions regarding copyright liability for ISPs and accession to the 1991 Act of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 91).

“The United States expects Colombia to make substantial progress on a draft bill that will address online piracy through expeditious removal or disabling of access to pirated content by introducing the bill to the Colombian Congress as early as possible”, the report states. “High levels of digital piracy persist year after year, and Colombia has not curtailed the number of free-to-air devices, community antennas, and unlicensed Internet Protocol Television services that permit otherwise-licensed content to be retransmitted to a large number of non-subscribers”, it adds.  

By Vera Abogados - 08/05/2019
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VERA ABOGADOS ASOCIADOS S.A.-, is a Colombian law firm with specialized lawyers, Founded more than 40 years ago, by Jorge E. Vera Vargas, Doctor in Law and Political Sciences of the La Gran Colombia University in Bogota D.C., Colombia. At present, with principal offices in the city of Bogota D.C., and offices in the cities of Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla, at national level, and at an international level in Ecuador and Panama.

The Firm is today a reference in the Andean Community, and it makes part of important international affiliations such as PRAGMA, EEIG. International Network of Law Firm, The International Trademark Association (INTA), Asociación Interamericana de Propiedad Industrial (ASIPI), Associação Brasileira da Propriedade Intelectual (ABPI), and the Chamber of Industrial Property Agents of the Republic of Argentina(CAPIRA).
 
VERA ABOGADOS ASOCIADOS S.A. offers professional services to prestigious Colombian and foreign companies in the following juridical areas: Industrial property, Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights, New Technologies, Disloyal Competition, Commercial Practices, Sanitary Rights, Community Right, Administrative law, Tax Law, Corporate Right and Foreign Investment and Business Rights.
 
The Firm offers of equal way a service of integral consultancy in Foreign Commerce, Business administration, Finance and Accountancy. The team is made up of specialized lawyers in each of the workspaces and expert multilingual professionals (Spanish, English and French) that respond with efficiency and competitiveness to the needs and demands of our customers around the world.