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Costa Rica (CR)

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Okt 01, 2013 (Newsletter Issue 14/13)
Regulatory Authority for Certification Marks
In addition to the examination that all trademark must go through - namely an assessment of their distinctiveness, descriptiveness and likeliness of confusion with other trademarks-certification marks must also be examined by the applicable regulatory authorities. Up to July 31, 2013, many certification marks were being rejected by the TMO on the ground that the regulations lacked the approval of a local competent authority.
Now, the Trademark Office (TMO) appointed the Costa Rican Entity for Accreditation (ECA) as the authority having jurisdiction to approve certification mark regulations.

Source: Zurcher Lawyers, Costa Rica and FH Legal, Costa Rica

Mrz 27, 2012 (Newsletter Issue 5/12)
Guidelines for TM Applications
On February 21, 2012, the Administrative Guidelines DRPI-02-2012 was published in the Official Gazzette No. 37, which set forth when the PTO will officially record the filing date of an application.

To grant a date for the filing of applications, the PTO has to assign a time and date and will admit it to procedure, only if it complies with certain requisites. These include that it contains the identity of the applicant, the address or representative in the country, the mark itself (if it is a mixed mark, a copy must be attached), the products/services it pretends to protect and proof of payment.

Taking this into account, the priority date will be counted from the date which all the requisites are fulfilled, regardless of the date that the PTO receives the application. Furthermore, the Registry will only evaluate the application once the aforementioned minimum requisites are fulfilled and the filing date has been assigned. Finally, the priority period will be counted from this date for all legal purposes.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in the delay of granting the date of the filing of an application.

Source: Zurcher Lawyers, Costa Rica

Legal basis is the Trademark and Other Distinctive Signs Law of February 1st, 2000, as amended.
Trademark protection is obtained by registration. It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition. The right to register a mark belongs to the earliest bona fide user of the mark or to whoever first files the application if there is no prior use.
Nice classification, 11th edition
Trade names and slogans can be registered, but no classification system is used.
Registrable as a mark is any sign or combination thereof, capable of distinguishing goods or services; namely words and sets of words -including names of persons, letters, numbers, numerals, figurative elements, monograms, pictures, tags, heraldry, lines, traces, patterns, combinations and dispositions of colours (not as an isolated spot) and sounds. Likewise, it may consist of the shape, presentation or disposition of products, their packaging or wrapping, as well as that of the channels or places in which the products or services are sold.
The definition for a mark includes as registrable regarding colours "combinations and arrangements of colors" (article 2, Trademark Act). Isolated colors are not registrable.

The following trademark types are registrable: trade marks, service marks, collective marks, certification marks, trade names, slogans, emblems, geographical indications and indications of source.
The application is filed at the Trademark Section of the Industrial Property Registrar („Registro de la Propiedad Industrial”).
Multi-class applications are possible.
Foreign applicants need a local agent.
A power of attorney duly notarized according to the laws of the place of execution is required (consular legalization is not necessary).
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 is approx. 5-6 months. The first office action is taken after approx. 1-2 weeks.
During the registration process, the trademark application is published three times in the official journal „La Gaceta“.
The opposition period is 2 months from the date of the first publication of the trademark.
Protection begins with the date of registration. Provisional protection begins with the date of application, but it can only be asserted after registration. A trademark registration is valid for 10 years. It is renewable for further periods of 10 years.
The grace period for renewals is 6 months from the expiration date of the trademark.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
Any interested party may request cancellation of a mark that has not been used in Costa Rica during a period of 5 years prior from the date of the cancellation action.
Cancellation may be partial if the lack of use only affects some of the wares or services covered by the registration. If the owner proofs use at least two months prior to the filing of the non-use action, the mark will not be cancelled.

Further practical details are available in our publication on this topic here
The official fee is USD 50 per class. An additional fee of approx. USD 100 to USD 140 is charged for publication of each application in the official journal. No additional fee is charged for registration and issuance of a certificate of registration.

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Practical details on licensing procedures, requirements and effectiveness are available in our publication on this topic here.
Country Index is a free service of SMD Group. We thank the following law firms for their assistance in updating the information provided.

Jun 28, 2018
Facio & Cañas, San José, Costa Rica

Jun 03, 2016
Facio & Cañas, San José, Costa Rica

Dez 04, 2014
Facio & Cañas, San José, Costa Rica

Jul 20, 2013
Facio & Cañas, San José, Costa Rica

Jun 15, 2011
Asesores Legales En Propiedad Industrial, San Jose , Costa Rica

Nov 18, 2010
Moeller IP Advisors, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Larbeck Consultores

11 Street
1023-1007 San José
Costa Rica (CR)

Registro de la Propiedad Industrial
P.O. Box 523-2010
Costa Rica
Tel +506 2202 0623
Fax +506 2202 0623