Haitian law protects copyrights, inventions, patent rights, industrial designs and models, special manufacturer’s marks, trademarks, and business names. The law penalizes persons or enterprises involved in infringement, fraud, or unfair competition. In order to ensure the protection of these rights, the law requires certain formalities, such as registration with the Ministry of the Interior and Territorial Communities. The Haitian constitution recognizes certain scientific, literary, and artistic intellectual property rights. According to the 2005 decree in force in Haiti, the owner of a copyright has the right to exploit his or her works, as well to reserve or share them. The right exists throughout the life of the owner and 60 years after his or her death.
The Haitian Copyright Office (BHDA) guarantees the protection of the brand name or trademark as well as the concept. In order to benefit from these privileges, enterprises or individuals must first register their work with the BHDA. Weak enforcement mechanisms, inefficient courts, and judges’ limited knowledge of commercial law compromise the effectiveness of statutory protections. Haiti ranks globally 129 out of 129 in the 2021 International Property Rights Index, based on a score of 2.64 out of a possible 10. Haiti is a signatory to the Buenos Aires Convention of 1910, the Paris Convention of 1883 regarding patents, and the Madrid Agreement regarding trademarks. Haiti has ratified the Berne Copyright Convention.
In any foreign market, companies should consider several general principles for effective management of their intellectual property. For background on these principles, please click on the links to the following web page Stopfakes.gov/welcome, or contact ITA’s Office of Intellectual Property Rights Director, Stevan Mitchell at Stevan.Mitchell@trade.gov.
The U.S. Commercial Service can provide a list of local lawyers upon request.
Further details on financing in Haiti can be found at the 2022 Investment Climate Statement.
IP Attaché Contact:
Cynthia C. Henderson
Regional Patent and Trade Office Attaché for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
U.S. Trade Center
United States Embassy, Mexico City
Tel: +52 (55) 5080-2189