Effective July 13, 2012, the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce has the legal faculties to prosecute IP Infringement Matters. This entity, who only had legal faculties to prosecute Unfair Competition and Consumers’ Protection actions, is now legally entitled to prosecute all matters related to IP infringement, including but not limited to; Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs, Trade Names, etc.
Before July 13, 2012, only civil courts were allowed to prosecute IP infringement matters. These judges are mostly unaware of IP matters, they lack of specialized knowledge on the subject and they tend to delay all the procedures, with a thousand different procedural obstacles, just to avoid substantial ruling of matters they lack of knowledge of. For more information
Currently, we can file infringement actions before the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce and/or Civil Courts (it depends on the plaintiff’s decision). The Superintendence of Industry and Commerce has proved to be very effective in terms of time, as they tend to decide in record time, and knowledge of the substantial matter, as they are the Colombian specialized IP unit.
This means that we will be able to have decisions of specialized IP judges ruling in less time than civil judges.
Another advantage of the Superintendence, which we have clearly proved in unfair competition actions, is that injunction requests are granted rather easily when the right of the owner is quite evident.
IP enforcement will become more effective and efficient in terms of time, costs and protection of rights’ owners.
The decision issued by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce could be appealed before the High Tribunal, which is the superior entity for civil courts as well.
In general, the civil courts would remain competent for intellectual property matters, but the plaintiff could also choose prosecution from the following administrative entities:
- The Superintendence of Industry and Commerce for Industrial Property Matters
- National Copyright Direction for matters related to copyrights
- Agricultural Institute ICA for infringement of new varieties of plants