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Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA DR Agreement: An Overview

The Central America-United States-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA DR) is a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and six countries in Central America and the Caribbean. One of the key provisions of the agreement is Annex 3.25, which deals with the protection of intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property (IP) refers to intangible creations of the human mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols and designs used in commerce. Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA DR Agreement sets out standards for the protection and enforcement of various forms of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.


Under Annex 3.25, patent holders are granted exclusive rights to prevent others from making, using, and selling their inventions without permission. The agreement requires signatories to grant patents for inventions in all fields of technology, subject to certain exceptions and limitations. Patents must be granted for a period of at least 20 years from the filing date of the application.


Trademarks are distinctive signs used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of another. Annex 3.25 requires signatories to provide protection to registered trademarks, as well as unregistered well-known marks. The agreement prohibits the use of misleading or confusing marks and provides measures for the enforcement of trademark rights.


Copyrights protect original works of authorship, such as literary, musical, and artistic works. Under Annex 3.25, signatories must provide copyright protection for a minimum of 50 years after the death of the author, or in the case of works made for hire, for at least 50 years after the date of publication. The agreement also provides measures for the enforcement of copyright rights, including civil and criminal penalties for infringement.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets are confidential information that is used in business to gain a competitive advantage. Annex 3.25 requires signatories to provide protection for trade secrets, including criminal penalties for misappropriation. The agreement also encourages the sharing of information and best practices on the protection of trade secrets.

Overall, Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA DR Agreement aims to promote innovation and creativity while ensuring that intellectual property rights are protected and enforced. Its provisions are designed to provide a level playing field for businesses and to encourage economic development and growth in the signatory countries.