Panama’s government is finally updating their IP legislation to international standards. In the Latin American IP market, Panama is one of the few countries in the region that has not approved the PCT –patent cooperation treaty- and, until recently, it hadn’t embraced the regional trend in updating trademark law with the TLT –trademark law treaty-. It hasn’t approved the Madrid Protocol either. This situation has resulted in a progressive isolation of Panama from the continental IP market, which is especially serious in a country that depends heavily in cross-border trade.
To overcome this issue, the Panamanian government and the national PTO -DIGERPI- have committed to the entering into force of 3 important international instruments, for the same date: September the 7th, 2012.
As of that day, the PCT, TLT and the Budapest Treaty (On patent procedures and microorganisms) will enter into force in Panama; forcing the PTO and the Congress to make drastic and necessary efforts to update their IP legislation and to ease procedures, adjusting to international and regional standards.
We will post more on this issue as Panama starts to fulfill the obligations acquired under these treaties, and we welcome such step forward in promoting a homogenized and coherent regional IP market.