San José, April 29, 2020. The Government of the United States of America made official, through the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), that Costa Rica has been removed from the list the countries over which the Office maintains surveillance regarding the protection of intellectual property rights. This is stated in the Office’s Special 301 Report, which the United States issues every year to assess regulations and actions of its commercial partners with respect to the protection of intellectual property rights.
The 2020 Special 301 Report recognizes Costa Rica’s progress in recent decades to build a legal framework that complies with the highest international standards, as well as to improve its systems of protection, registration, and enforcement of intellectual property rights, thanks to an allocation of resources and the implementation of policies to improve institutional capacity.
The Minister of Justice and Peace, Fiorella Salazar, confirmed the change and stated, "This achievement makes us enormously proud, as it is the result of coordinated, tenacious, and diligent work over many years, in which the institutions that comprise the Interinstitutional Commission for the Protection of Intellectual Property have joined forces with judicial authorities to strengthen institutional capabilities in the service of the effective application and due compliance with current regulations. ”
The Minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez Figueres, also expressed her satisfaction with the news, commenting, “Over the years, Costa Rica has demonstrated a real commitment to developing a solid framework for the protection of intellectual property, as a way to encourage innovation and the creation of knowledge, to increase productivity, to attract sophisticated direct investments, and to promote the transition to a knowledge-based economy that will grow continually over the long term.”
Costa Rica had been on the watch list since 1995. As a result, the country implemented concrete actions, both to improve its regulatory framework and to ensure adequate protection of intellectual property rights on the Costa Rican market.
Sharon Day, United States Ambassador to Costa Rica, expressed her “Congratulations to Costa Rica for the important progress made to strengthen protections and compliance with intellectual property rights. Thanks to the approach and dedication of Minister Jiménez, the COMEX team, and Costa Rican leaders, for the first time in 25 years, Costa Rica is not included on the Special 301 Report, as prepared by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, of countries that do not sufficiently protect intellectual property rights. Our Embassy hopes to continue the cooperation and efforts between our two countries, so that Costa Rica may continue to be a place where American business and creative ideas can prosper.”