Under the CAFTA-DR, Honduran Customs can prevent goods violating TM rights in Honduras from entering the country. A special unit of the Honduran Customs Authority encourages companies to provide it with lists of registered TMs, so it can be timely notified of the arrival of counterfeit goods at the port of entry.
Enforcement of IPR in Honduras
Registration of a TM in Honduras, which is identical or similar to previously registered TMs, provides its owner with a right to require the violating party to:
- stop using the TM;
- pay compensation for damage caused.
Administrative sanctions, ranging from fines to criminal sanctions, may be imposed on infringing parties. Injured parties can also initiate legal proceedings regarding the violation of TM rights in Honduras & file an additional claim for damages. Damage is deemed to start from the date when a violation of TM rights is established & verified. Pursuant to Honduran law, fair compensation must be paid to injured parties.
The right to file a civil action for TM infringement in Honduras expires 24 months after a TM owner becomes aware of the infringement, or 60 months after the last infringement.
A registered TM owner or licensee can file a complaint with a dedicated IP Department of the Attorney General's Office requesting that counterfeit goods be confiscated (both in the marketplace and at customs). They can also initiate a lawsuit in Honduras against 3rd parties violating TM rights.
Normally, it takes from 15 to 20 months for civil lawsuits to be reviewed. Complaints filed with the IP Department of the Attorney General's Office are reviewed for up to two weeks before a preliminary injunction is issued. All decisions, including preliminary injunctions issued by the aforementioned administrative agencies & courts, can be appealed with the Appellate Court. Prohibitions imposed by the IP Department can be appealed with the Attorney General's office within 14 days.
Injured parties can appeal to the Appellate & Supreme Courts. Alleged infringers may file a counterclaim.
ADR methods are available in Honduras; however they aren’t commonly used. Given that the amended Investment Law requires the mandatory use of ADR in Honduras prior to filing an IP claim in Honduras, this may change in the future. However, this provision doesn’t apply to complaints filed with the special IP Department.
Seeking to protect a TM in Honduras? Need advice on TM regulation in Honduras? Why not contact IQ Decision UK?