Trademark application Costa Rica

Trademark registration Costa Rica

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Every year we register more than 1500 trademarks in all countries in the world, with objections being lodged in less than 1 percent.

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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Costa Rica?

The costs of trademark registration in Costa Rica depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get  protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.


How do you get a trademark registration in Costa Rica?

Trademark rights in Costa Rica are mainly determined on the basis of use. The person or company that is the first and structurally to use a brand has the pre-emptive rights. However, it is highly recommended that individuals or companies register their trademarks. A trademark registration in Costa Rica offers protection. It gives you a leg to stand on when your trademark rights are infringed. An unregistered trademark makes no claims at all.


What kind of brands can you register?

The number of types of trademarks you can register in Costa Rica is wide. Think of words, names, colours, slogans and sounds. There are also a number of types that you are not allowed to register in any case, including indiscriminate trademarks, generic terms and names, flags or symbols of states, countries, regions or international organizations.


What types of trademarks are there?

Costa Rica distinguishes three types of trademark registration: the word mark, the figurative mark and the combined trademark. The word mark is composed solely of alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers). The logo only contains images, emblems or other graphic images. A combination of a word and figurative mark is called a combined trademark, consisting of alphanumeric characters and images.


Can you use a combined trademark separately?

The combined trademark does have a limitation. The use of the combination of the word and figurative mark is limited to the exact registration. This means that elements may not be used separately. They then have no protection. If you have this wish, it is advisable to register both elements separately from each other.


What documents are required for the trademark application in Costa Rica?

For the trademark application in Costa Rica you have to provide various information to the National Registry. This includes full personal and address details, an example of the brand, specification of class(es) based on the Nice classification system, a description of your product(s) and/or service(s) and a signature of a power of attorney.


Classification products and services

To apply for a trademark in Costa Rica, you will be asked for the classification of your product(s) and/or service(s). Costa Rica uses the Nice classification system for this. The Nice system (NCL) is the worldwide standard. The NCL is divided into 45 different classes. Products belong to classes 1 to 34 and services to the other eleven. Please refer to the official documentation for the exact distribution.


How long does the application process take?

In any case, take into account approximately four months. The application process includes a formal investigation, a look at how distinctive the trademark is and a comparison with trademarks that have already been registered. This takes about two months. When everything is in order, the application will be published in the Intellectual Property Gazette of Costa Rica.


When can third parties object?

Third parties have two months from the date of publication to submit an objection. If no objection has been lodged in those two months, the trademark is officially registered. Third parties cannot simply appeal. They must have registered a comparable trademark. If not, this must be done within fifteen days after the appeal procedure has started. Or the counterparty must be able to prove previous use of a comparable trademark.


What is the validity of a trademark in Costa Rica?

Once the trademark is registered, the trademark registration in Costa Rica is valid for ten years from the date of registration. The validity period is extended in periods of ten years. Renewal is possible up to twelve months before the expiry date. After a trademark expires, there is still a grace period of six months. During that period it is still possible to renew a trademark for a fee.


Risk of non-use

Trademarks in Costa Rica can go unused for up to five years. After that, third parties have the option to delete the registration from the registers on the basis of non-use. When this happens, the brand owner is always notified. To avoid cancellation, it is sufficient to demonstrate minimal use of the trademark.


Confusing Similarity

One of the advantages of trademark registration in Costa Rica is protection. For example, third parties cannot simply register a comparable trademark in Costa Rica. If a third party wants to register a similar brand for similar products or services, you will be given the opportunity to object on the basis of confusing similarity.


The r symbol

In addition, a registered trademark in Costa Rica offers exclusivity. Registered trademarks may use the internationally recognized r symbol. The r symbol shows that a brand is officially registered. This symbol also radiates professionalism. Only registered brands are allowed to use the r symbol. This is punishable by law for unregistered trademarks.

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