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US and Honduras Achieve Breakthrough on IP Protection and Enforcement

[ March 11, 2016   //   ]

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced recently that the Government of Honduras (GOH) has committed to undertake a series of actions to strengthen the protection and enforcement of intellectual property in Honduras after the US took special measures last year to increase engagement on intellectual property enforcement there.
This breakthrough was reached after the United States carried out an Out-Of-Cycle Review of intellectual property protection in Honduras in order to determine if that country should be placed on USTR’s Special 301 intellectual property Watch List.
These new GOH commitments in the 2016 Work Plan will address concerns raised by the United States in the Out-Of-Cycle Review and will strengthen implementation of the CAFTA-DR commitments relating to intellectual property.
Intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement is the principal focus of the commitments by the Honduran government. To bolster criminal enforcement, the GOH will substantially increase the number of prosecutors specializing in criminal IPR enforcement by the end of this March. The GOH has also committed to publish quarterly reports on prosecution case activity, in order to promote transparency and accountability as this plan is implemented.
Additionally, the Work Plan addresses signal piracy in cable and satellite transmissions. Prosecutors will work to efficiently resolve pending criminal investigations associated with this problem and GOH authorities will engage with rights holders to promote expanded use of administrative enforcement options. The GOH’s cable regulatory authorities have committed to accept right holder identification of authorized cable licensees, and to take appropriate administrative enforcement actions, including the imposition of fines and suspension of business licenses in appropriate cases. These regulatory authorities also committed to publish quarterly reports on administrative enforcement activity.

Office of the United States Trade Representative

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