On Friday, April 3, 2020, laws No. 1024, Law on Reforms and Additions to Law No. 380, Law on Trademarks and Other Distinctive Signs, and Law No. 1025, Law on Reforms and Additions to Law 354, Law of Patents of Invention, Utility Models and Industrial Designs were published in La Gaceta, Official Newsletter, thus coming immediately into force.
The main change that said reforms will bring to the practice of Intellectual Property in Nicaragua is given by the increase of approximately 30% in the official fees of the Registry, the creation of some new ones, and by the payment form which is now in advance. No application will be accepted without the proof of payment.
While Law 1025, the Patent Reform, focuses solely on increasing fees. The Trademark Law Reform includes several new features, of which we consider the following to be worth mentioning:
1. Service of Registry rulings by email
2. The granting of protection to geographical indications through their inclusion in subparagraph g) of article 8 “relative grounds for refusal of trademarks” that previously only protected appellations of origin.
3. The creation of a new procedure for publication of opposition ads, according to which, once the ad has been issued by the Registry, the applicant must obtain its publication by the official newsletter within the following 15 business days.
4. Creation of the POA official Registry, which will assign a number to each POA, and must be updated every five years.
5. The following official terms were reduced:
- To correct an application: 15 business days (extendable for another 15)
- Filing and Opposition: 30 business days (extendable for another 15)
- Filing evidence in an opposition procedure: 15 business days after filing of the opposition (renewable for another 15). The same applies when answering an opposition.
- Issuance of final ruling: 60 business days
- Answering an objection by the Registry: 30 business days (extendable by 15)
- Late filing of POA: 30 business days (extendable by 15)
6. Regarding the official fees, the 30% increase is general, but also the reform created some new ones, among which the most important are:
- Request for extension of deadlines: U$20.00
- Registration of a POA: U$ 20.00
- Change of Agent: U$ 40.00
- For filing an Opposition: U$ 50.00
- For acting as agents without a POA: U$ 10.00
- Reissuing of opposition ad: U$ 25.00
- Recording a trademark registration Cancellation ordered by judicial authority: U$ 40.00
It should be noted that the procedures initiated before April 3, 2020 will continue to be processed in accordance with the previous official provisions and rates.
Finally, we at BLP continue to work as hard as possible to ensure that the implementation of these reforms goes smoothly for our clients.
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