INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN COSTA RICA
First Renewal Term
Subsequent Renewal Term
In Costa Rica, the legal basis is the Trademarks and other Distinctive Signs Act of January 1st, 2000. Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
Trademark rights in Costa Rica are established through use. Thus, the person or company that first and continuously uses a trademark in Costa Rica is the one who will have preferential rights over it. However, in practice, it is highly recommended for the trademark owners to register their trademarks.
It usually takes about eight (08) months for the Director General of the Intellectual Property Registry at the National Registry in the Ministry of Justice to process an application for registration. Paris Convention priority can be claimed.
Costa Rica follows the 9th edition of Nice Classification. Multi-class trademark applications are acceptable.
Third parties can file opposition actions against a trademark application within two (02) months following its publication in the official gazette.
A trademark registration is valid for ten (10) years from the date of application (but it can only be asserted after registration), which can be further renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten (10) years each.
The application for renewal should be filed within twelve (12) months prior to the expiration date of the registration.
A grace period of six (06) months is allowed from the expiration date of the filing of the application for renewal upon payment of a late fee. After this period, a new application for registration is required.
It usually takes about two (02) months for the Registry to process an application for renewal. Once the renewal is complete, the Registry will issue a certificate of renewal.
If a registered trademark has not been used within five (05) years from registration, it may be subject to a cancellation action filed by a third party.
A patent can be registered in Costa Rica pursuant to the Law on Patents, Industrial Designs, and Utility Models No. 6867 (2008 Revision), which provides for the registration of local patent applications.
In Costa Rica, an invention that satisfies the conditions of originality, novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, subjects to patentability. Process patent and product patent are the two types of patents that can be protected.
Costa Rica has been a Contracting Party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property since October 31, 1995. Moreover, it is a party to the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure.
The types of patent applications that can be filed include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.
Costa Rica is signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), and accordingly, national phase filing of a PCT patent is possible. The same is encouraged if the applicant is seeking coverage in another domicile. A PCT application can simplify the process of seeking a patent in countries that are party to the PCT.
It usually takes between two (02) to three (03) years for the Director General of the Intellectual Property Registry at the National Registry in the Ministry of Justice to process an application for registration. Once the registration is complete, the Registry will issue a Certificate of Registration.
In Costa Rica, an opposition against a patent application can be raised at the pre-grant stage within three (03) months approximately, beginning from the third publication of the application in the Official Journal (La Gaceta) on the grounds that the substantive requirements prescribed by the law were not fulfilled.
A patent registration is valid for twenty (20) years. Once the registration term has expired, it cannot be renewed. An instrument of Patent Term Extension is available. The normal patent term of twenty (20) years can be extended to compensate for a delay in the patent registration process (if the grant takes more than five (05) years from the filing date or three (03) years from the examination request) or for a delay in the regulatory approval of a pharmaceutical product (more than three (03) years from the application).
Once a patent has been registered in Costa Rica, there is an annuity payable to the Costa Rican Government every year. The fee is due on the anniversary of the application date. Annuities for a PCT issued patent are due on the same date. When the annuity has been paid, the Registry will issue an official receipt. Failure to pay an annuity will result in the rights protected by the registration being placed in abeyance. It will effectively prevent any enforcement action from being taken.
The Law on Invention Patents, Industrial Designs, and Utility Models, LAW 6867 - governs and deals with the mechanism of registration of industrial designs in Costa Rica.
The law in Costa Rica requires the industrial design to comply with the requirement of special appearance, novelty, and originality (Article 25 and Article 26 of Law 6867 of Patents of Invention Patents, Industrial Designs, and Utility Models).
The types of industrial design applications that can be filed in Costa Rica include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.
In Costa Rica, multiple design applications are not possible.
Applications for the registration of an industrial design or utility model are required to be filed with the Industrial Property Registry, The applications, in addition to the information required by the Regulations, should contain an indication of the type or kind of goods to which the industrial design applies, as well as the class or classes to which the goods belong, as per the International Classification of Industrial Designs.
Opposition can be filed by a third party in Costa Rica during the registration process within a period of three (03) months after publication.
Costa Rica has a legal system, which grants protection to the industrial designs. The term of protection is ten (10) years from the date of registration.
The Law establishes the payment of annuities (annual rates) for the maintenance of industrial designs during the first five (05) years of the registry; however, this provision was object of unconstitutionality claim and is not being applied currently. So, there is no payment of the annual fees to maintain the validity of the registration of an industrial design.
There is no grace period to renew a registered industrial design.
In Costa Rica, copyright law is governed by Law No. 6683 Ley de Derechos de Autor y Derechos Conexos and subsequent amendments to this law that comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization Treaty.
Copyright registration is handled before the National Registry of Copyright and Related Rights, according to the requirements, rates, and procedures established by Law 6683 of Copyright and Related Rights.
The Government of the Republic of Costa Rica, on March 3, 1978, acceded to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of September 9, 1886, as revised in Paris on July 24, 1971.
Costa Rica grants copyright protection to any original intellectual creation, whether artistic, scientific, or literary. Copyright protection is granted regardless of whether the creation is subject to registration with the Intellectual Property Registry of Costa Rica. Those who want to formally record and declare the copyright can apply for registration before the Intellectual Property section of the National Registry of Costa Rica located in the capital city of San Jose.
Moral rights do not have a term of expiration.
Economic rights are protected in Costa Rica during the author’s life and after his or her death for a term of seventy (70) years. Then, the works become part of the public domain, being able to be used freely, but always respecting the right to have the author’s name associated with his or her work.