Costa Rica adheres to several multilateral conventions and treaties for the protection and enforcement of patents and trademarks, including WIPO, TRIPS, Paris Convention, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), Trademark Law Treaty (TLT) and the Budapest Treat on Patent Deposit of Microorganisms.
Trademarks are defined as any sign or combination of signs that makes it possible to distinguish the goods or services of one person from those of another, because they are deemed sufficiently distinctive or capable of identifying the goods or services to which they are applied compared to those of the same kind or class.
Owners of a registered trademark shall enjoy an exclusive right to prevent third parties from using identical or similar signs in trade without their consent, including geographical indications and appellations of origin, for goods or services which are identical or similar to those registered for the mark, where use gives rise to the likelihood of confusion. In the case of use of an identical sign, including geographical indications and appellations of origin, for identical goods or services, it shall be assumed that there is a likelihood of confusion. Consequently, a trademark registration shall confer on owners or their rightful claimants the right to take action against third parties.
Trademark laws provide protection of well-known trademarks to prevent unauthorized third parties from taking unfair advantage of the repute of a trademark or diminishing its distinctiveness or commercial or advertising value. The Industrial Property Registry may, ex officio or at the request of the interested party, reject or cancel the registration and prohibit the use of a factory mark or trademark or service mark which constitutes a written reproduction, imitation or translation of a well-known mark, registered or not, and is used for identical or similar goods, which is likely to create confusion.
The country follows the standard international classifications systems (e.g. International Patent Classification, Nice and Locarno Agreements). Trademark applications are in Spanish and a translation of the mark is required when it is composed of any word component with meaning in a language other than Spanish. The goods or services for which the mark is used or will be used are grouped together by class according to the Nice International Classification of Goods and Services.
The Registration of a mark shall be valid for a period of ten years, beginning from the date of its grant. The mark may be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten years, beginning from the previous date of expiry.
The form is to be signed on behalf of the Applicant/Company by a registered officer of the company.
History: Bordering the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, Costa Rica originally represented an “Intermediate Region” between the two native tribes known as the Mesoamericans and the Andeans. By 1502 Costa Rica was claimed by Spain after being visited by Christopher Columbus. Costa Rica remained under Spanish control for the next three hundred years until 1821 when they declared their independence. On December 1, 1948, military forces were abolished. Costa Rica’s capital is San Jose and the official language is Spanish.
Tourism, electronic exports, and agriculture dominate Costa Rica’s economic industry. Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface. The country is home to many exotic species of flora and fauna, beaches, and volcanoes (some that are still active). Costa Rica is also known for its lush and dense rainforests; approximately 25% of the country has protected forests and reserves. The country boasts about 800 miles of coastline that borders both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.