Amendments to the Trademark Law and Law on Patents of Invention in Nicaragua
On February 13th, 2020, the following legal initiatives were presented to the National Assembly of Nicaragua:
- Law on Amendments to Law No. 380, “Law on Trademarks and Other Distinctive Signs”.
- Law amending Law No. 354, “Law on Patents, Utility Models and Industrial Designs”.
Those that were approved on March 24th and 25th, respectively, and came into effect, both on April 3rd, after having been published in the Official Gazette, “La Gaceta” No. 65.
With regard to the reform of Law 380, it provides, among other things:
- Presentation of the payment of the fee together with the application, otherwise it will not be received;
- Reduction of time limits from two (2) months to fifteen (15) working days to correct errors or omissions in the examination of form;
- The request for an informal manager will accrue a fee, and the period for ratifying this was reduced to thirty (30) working days from the notification of admission of the request.
- The Notice issued by the Intellectual Property Registry will have a validity of fifteen (15) working days, in addition, it must be published within fifteen (15) working days after its receipt and submitted to the Registry within fifteen (15) working days after publication;
- The opposition period was reduced to thirty (30) working days from the publication in the Official Journal and the filing of oppositions will be subject to a fee. For the subsequent submission of evidence, the period will be fifteen (15) working days from the filing of the opposition.
- As regards to the reply of oppositions or objections, if no reply is received within thirty (30) working days of notification of the opposition, the application for registration of the mark or distinctive sign against which the opposition is filed, shall be declared abandoned or registration refused, respectively.
- If the opposition or objection is resolved in a positive manner and the registration is admitted, in the case of multiclass applications, the additional fees must be paid within the following eight (8) working days, otherwise the substantive examination will not proceed.
- The fees for all the services have been modified, and in addition to the increase, the collection of other services is contemplated, such as extensions, registration of Power, among others.
Finally, it is important to mention that in the initiative presented on February 13th, a term of ten (10) years was foreseen for the Commercial Name; however, in the approved and current reform, such provision is not contemplated.
With respect to Law 354, the reform is aimed at increasing fees, and implicitly at providing new services, such as the re-establishment of the right to the PCT application, among others.
Lía Incer Flores
García & Bodán