Patents and Trademarks
The legal framework for patents and trademarks in Nicaragua. Prepared in association with Bendaña & Bendaña, a leading Nicaraguan law firm, this is an extract from The Pharma Legal Handbook: Nicaragua, available to purchase here for USD 99.
1. What are the basic requirements to obtain patent and trademark protection?
- Power of Attorney, duly legalized by Apostille
- For patents, all data related to the priority or PCT application, as well as a copy of the specification and claims in Spanish
- For trademarks, a listing of goods and/or services, separated by classes in accordance with the international classification
2. What agencies or bodies regulate patents and trademarks?
Intellectual Property Registry (trademarks, patents and copyrights), Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce (MIFIC). The IP Registry is a department of the Ministry of Development.
3. What products, substances, and processes can be protected by patents or trademarks and what types cannot be protected?
Trademarks: Any products or substances, as long as they are legal and not interfere with public order.
Patents: Patents can be obtained for products, processes or use.
Excluded from patentability are:
- Simple discoveries;
- Matters or energies as found in nature;
- Biological procedures as they occur in nature and that do not involve human intervention to produce plants and animals, except microbiological procedures;
- Scientific theories and mathematical methods;
- Purely aesthetic creations, literary and artistic works;
- Plans, principles, rules or economic, advertising or business methods, and those related to purely mental or intellectual activities or game matter;
- Computer programs as such;
- Animal breeds;
Therapeutic, surgical or diagnostic methods applicable to humans or animals;
- Inventions whose commercial exploitation must be prevented to protect public order or morality;
- Inventions whose commercial exploitation must be prevented to protect human, animal or plant health, or life or to preserve the environment.
4. How can patents and trademarks be revoked?
Patents: Through civil proceedings, by showing that the invention was not novel or lacked an inventive step at the time the application was filed.
Trademarks: Through civil proceedings, on the basis of absolute or relative grounds. In order to bring court proceedings, the plaintiff must show that he did not oppose the application.
5. Are foreign patents and trademarks recognized and under what circumstances?
The registration of patents and trademarks is territorial.
6. Are there any non-patent/trademark barriers to competition to protect medicines or devices?
7. Are there restrictions on the types of medicines or devices that can be granted patent and trademark protection?
Patents: No (other than matter excluded from patentability as shown in number 3 above).
Trademark: No (other than goods/services deemed to be ilegal or contrary to public order).
8. Must a patent or trademark license agreement with a foreign licensor be approved or accepted by any government or regulatory body?
No, but it is advisable in order to give public notice to third parties.