The Office of the United States Trade Representative released its 2022 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement. Bolivia is one of twenty trading partners on the Watch List which “merit bilateral attention to address underlying IP problems.” According to the report:
Bolivia remains on the Watch List in 2022. Challenges continue with respect to adequate and effective intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement in Bolivia. The IP laws in Bolivia are outdated, and constitutional restrictions limit effective IP protection. Bolivia has not acceded to the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and WIPO Copyright Treaty, collectively known as the WIPO Internet Treaties. In addition, Bolivia relies on a century-old industrial
privileges law, rather than any specific law governing industrial property. Bolivia underfunds the protection of IP. SENAPI has the primary responsibility involving IP protection but continues to suffer from inadequate resources. Similarly, Bolivian Customs lacks ex officio authority necessary to stop potentially infringing goods without an application from the right holder. Additionally, the customs authority does not have the human and financial resources needed to effectively address shipments containing counterfeit goods at its international borders. Significant challenges also persist with respect to adequate and effective IP enforcement and communication between SENAPI and Customs. Video, music, literature, and software piracy rates are among the highest in Latin America, and rampant counterfeiting persists. Criminal charges and prosecutions remain rare. Bolivian Customs has authority under the Cinema and Audiovisual Arts Law of 2018 to pursue criminal prosecutions for IP violations of foreign and domestic visual works, but Bolivia has not promulgated implementing regulations that are necessary to exercise this authority. Bolivia continues to express its intention to protect IP. The United States will work with Bolivia on the necessary steps to improve its IP system and enforcement of IP.
In any foreign market, companies should consider several general principles for effective protection of their intellectual property. For background, link to our article on Protecting Intellectual Property, and to Stopfakes.gov for more resources. The IP Attaché for Bolivia, Sylvia Solis, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more guidance, contact ITA’s Office of Standards and Intellectual Property Rights (OSIP) Director, Stevan Mitchell at Stevan.Mitchell@trade.gov. You can also review the State Department’s Investment Climate Statement for information on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in foreign economies at State’s ICS.