Join us for the INTA Annual Meeting 2015 in San Diego, CA


ALPI will be attending the premier academic and networking event for trademark professionals from May 2 to May 6, 2015.

With over 9,000 attendees from more than 140 jurisdictions expected to attend, the INTA Annual Meeting is the largest trademark event in the world.

This year’s event will be held in the beautiful city of San Diego. Visit INTA’s website for more information:

Luis D. Acuña will represent ALPI at the Annual Meeting in San Diego in May and would be delighted to meet colleagues, in-house practitioners and law firms from all over the globe.

If you are also attending, please get in touch and we can arrange a meeting. If interested, please send us an email to

Amendment to Patent & Design Regulations in Costa Rica as of April, 2014

As of April 24, 2014, several new important changes practice before the Costa Rican Patent Office regarding Patents of Invention, Designs and Industrial Models & Utility Models came into effect.

The amendment is notable for introducing new  formal and substantive changes to payment of annuities, prosecution and filing of applications for registration of patents of invention, designs and industrial models and utility models. The amendment also consolidates de facto practices adopted by the Patent Office that did not have prior legal basis.

The Regulations were issued via Executive Decree No. 38289-H, published in official Gazette No. 78 of April 24, 2014, which amends and expands the existing Regulations to the Patents Law.

Some of the most notable changes include:

Patents of Intention and Utility Models

  • Dimensions of drawings may not exceed 15cm by 15 cm (5.90 inches by 5.90 inches) and shall not contain any text; only reference numbers to the corresponding text in the specification.
  • Drawings may consist of photographs of the subject matter of the invention, as long as they have a neutral background and no shadows.
  • Applications that are notoriously deficient may be automatically refused. 50% of the filing fee will be returned to the applicant.
  • One single extension of time to submit the Power of Attorney may be requested, as long as sufficient justification is provided.
  • At the request of the applicant, publication can be delayed for up to 12 months after the filing date.
  • Applicant facing an adverse examination report have 1 month to file a formal response. Within the first 15 days of said deadline, the applicant may choose to meet with the examiner to discuss the issue.
  • Payment of the grant fee for patents and utility models is assimilated to payment of the first patent annuity. However, at the same time, the applicant must pay second and subsequent annuities as of the date of presentation of the application. Failure to pay will cause the Patent Office to initiate legal action for collecting the amounts owed by the applicant.

Designs and industrial models:

  • The concept of novelty was changed substantially. A design or industrial model is deemed to be original as long as the exterior appearance is due to the creative effort of an individual creator and does not imply a change in color or shape of known designs and industrial models.


Tel. (506) 2221-9058 or 2222-1785
Fax (506) 2222-6054

Costa Rica: Brief Primer Intellectual Property Protection

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Thanks to the international harmonizing trend in IP laws, the procedure for registration and protection of patents of invention, trademarks and other IP rights is fairly standardized in Costa Rica and Latin America in comparison to the rest of the world. Most of the basic considerations regarding protection abroad also apply.

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Where do you register your rights? 

IPRs are registered by the Industrial Property Registry of Costa Rica.

Is a trademark registration mandatory?

Rights are acquired by mere use of the mark in commerce to identify goods and services. However, registration provides the greatest protection.

Before commercialization may begin, chemicals, hygienic products, cosmetics, medicines, biomedical machines, biomedical materials, and similar goods require a sanitary registration before the Ministry of Health. In these cases, a trade or service mark registration may be a formal requirement.

It is essential to plan any filings ahead of time to avoid any potential delays in entering the market.

What if my rights are infringed?

While use-based rights are recognized, it is preferable to initiate legal action after registration to reduce the burden of proof on the plaintiff.

In addition, it is common for local distributors to register the foreign company’s marks when the former fails to do so in a timely fashion. Sometimes this is done as a necessity (for instance, to secure sanitary permits), but other times as a way to obtain leverage in future negotiations.

How long does it take to secure a registration?

In the case of trade and service marks, the standard is 5 to 9 months. Additional delays may occur if the application encounters any issues.

Patents of invention and industrial designs may take upward from 24 months to register.

How to apply?

It is always advisable to conduct a search to determine if there are any conflicting third-party registrations or statutory limitations before you begin the application process.

If you wish to proceed with the registration process, you will need to have a Law Firm file and prosecute the application for you.

Law firms are appointed through a Power of Attorney. This document only requires notarization under the laws of the country of issuance, but not legalization by the Consulate/apostille. Often this is the only document that will be required to obtain a patent or trademark registration, but sometimes additional documents may be required (for instance, to prove assignment of rights or claim priority based on foreign applications).

Term of Registration

The registration term for trademark is 10 years from the date of registration, renewable for additional intervals of 10 years each. The term for patents of invention is 20 years from the priority date.