Legal basis is the Trademark Law (Law 380), in force since July, 2001, its regulation and Law 580, Ammendments to Trademark Law (380).
Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Tradename protection is obtained by first use in Nicaragua, registration before Trademark Office is only declarative.
Nice classification, 9th edition
Registrable as a trademark, within others, are words or group of words, advertising slogans and phrases, letters, numbers, monograms, shapes, portraits, labels, coats of arms, designs, cartoons, borders, lines and stripes, and combinations and arrangements of colors, sounds or other perceptible signs such as smells. They may also consist of the form, presentation or packaging of the goods or their containers or wrapping, or the means or place of retail of the related goods or services.
The following sign types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, trade names, emblems, slogans, geographical indications, origin denominations, three-dimensional.
The application is filed at the Patent Office.
Multiple-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney signed in the presence of a notary and authenticated by a consulate of Nicaragua is necessary.
Foreign applicants do not necessarily need a domestic registration.
The application process includes a formal examination, an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
The processing time from first filing to registration or first office action is approx. 10 months.
Before registration, the trademark application is published in the gazette.
The substantive examination – earlier described – takes place after the trademarkʼs publication.
The opposition period is 2 months from publication date of the application.
Opposition against designation of IR Mark
(The period starts from the national publication date, if not stated differently):
not a member of the Madrid Agreement or Protocol.
A trademark registration is valid for 10 years from the date of registration.
The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from the due date.
The Nicaraguan legislation establishes that by request of any interested person and previous hearing of the owner of the trademark, the judicial competent authority, will cancel the registration of a trademark when it has not being used during three uninterrupted years previous to the date in which the action of cancellation begins. The action of cancellation will not proceed before passed three years counted from the date of the initial registry of the trademark in Nicaragua.
The official fee is approximately USD 132.00 (approx. EUR 95.00) for word trademark (per class), US$165.50 00 (approx. EUR 118.00) for design trademark (per class). The standard costs for publication at the Official Gazette are already included above; nevertheless, the official costs at the Official Gazette may vary, depending on the amount of products to be covered.
Trademark Licence Agreement
In Nicaragua licence agreements must be in writing. It is not permitted to license the use of unregistered marks. A trademark may be licensed for some or all of the goods or services covered. Licences may be exclusive or non-exclusive. The sale of a registered trademark does not automatically terminate the licence.
In the absence of any stipulation to the contrary in the licence agreement, the following statutory provisions apply to the licence:
1. The licensee has the right to use the mark during the term of the registration, including its renewals, in the entire territory of the country and with respect to all products or services for which the mark is registered.
2. The licensee shall not assign the licence nor grant sub-licences.
3. When a licence is granted as an exclusive licence, the licensor shall not grant other licences with respect to the same territory, the same mark and the same products or services, nor shall he use the mark in such territory with respect to such products or services.
4. As to quality control: Upon the request of any interested party or of a competent authority and after hearing the owner of the registered trademark, the Judge may cancel the recording of a licence agreement and prohibit the use of the mark by the licensee in the event that, due to the lack of adequate control on the part of the owner of the registration, such use causes or may cause confusion, deception or harm to the public, or becomes detrimental to the competition within the market.
There are provisions in law for the recordal of a licensee with the Trademark Office. The recordal of a licence is voluntary. Although it is not required to record a licence agreement, it is useful to do so in order to have
further evidence of use in the event of a non-use cancellation action. There is no time frame for a recordal nor a prescribed form or content for a licence agreement.
Since the licence recordal is merely voluntary, the licence becomes effective at the time of execution by the parties. The licence is not required to be published.
There is an evidentiary presumption that use by a recorded licensee is permitted use. The licensee may join the proprietor in infringement proceedings if it is expressly mentioned in the licence agreement. The licensee may not call upon the trademark owner to institute infringement proceedings.
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We would like to thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided:
Guy Jose Bendana-Guerrero & Asociados, Managua, Nicaragua
Moeller IP Advisors, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Guy Jose Bendana-Guerrero & Asociados, Managua, Nicaragua