Published by INTA Latin America Forum News, April 2011.
The Industrial Property Law effective in Honduras was approved by Decree No 12-99-E. Its dispositions are of public order and have, inter alia, the objective of preventing acts against industrial property or acts that constitute unfair competition. The Decree also establishes sanctions if the Law is breached.
The Civil Procedure Code in Honduras establishes claims and demands that the owner of a protected right can file against an offender. The protection of a trademark and the intellectual property development in a company are very important therefore legal action can be filed in defense of these protected rights.
The Law defines a sign as any sign used to identify a company in its commercial activity or a product or service of the same kind. It includes the commercial, trademark, collective trademarks, emblems and signs of propaganda.
The right to the exclusive use of a trademark is obtained through registering with the Industrial Property Registry. The registration of a trademark will be granted, under the applicant's responsibility and without prejudice to the rights of third parties, to the first person that submits the corresponding application. If two or more people simultaneously apply for the registration of the same trademark for the same products
or services, the registration will be granted to the person using the trademark in Honduras, without interruption, from the earliest date, unless it is a notoriously known trademark that had been taken in bad faith.
Any interested person may present an opposition to the registration of a trademark within the publication period and up to 30 days from the date of the last publication that notifies the public of the registration.
The opposition must be filed indicating the basis of their argument, together with or notification of the corresponding proof. This process is administrative and is filed before the Industrial Property Registry, where all the administrative processes will take place until a resolution is issued. The resolution in such proceedings is subject to an appeal within the three days following the notification of the resolution, and it should be filed with the same entity that issued the resolution. Then, it is sent to the Superintendence of Appeals of the Property Institute for the ruling on an appeal. An appeal exhausts the administrative level, and the interested party...