Integration among Central American countries has led to the creation of legislation with a supra-national character, designed to regulate different areas including the economy, politics, the environment and intellectual property. Nicaragua signed and in 1968 ratified the Agreement for the Protection of Industrial Property in Central America - the main regulatory instrument on this matter.

The agreement was designed to establish a uniform legal regime on trademarks, trade names and expressions or signs for advertismnts, and to regulate unfair competition within Central America.

On April 16 2001 the Trademarks and Other Distinctive Signs Act (Act 380) was published and came into force. In accordance with the agreement this act regulates the following:

  • concepts and procedures on trademarks in general;

  • collective trademarks;

  • trade names;

  • apellations of origin and geographical indications;

  • distinctive signs; and

  • unfair competition.

The government of Nicaragua and the government of the United States of America have ratified the Agreement for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights in order to promote economic relations and to facilitate commercial expansion. This agreement regulates:

  • copyrights;

  • the protection of codified satellite signals with programme carriers;

  • trade secrets;

  • marks;

  • patents; and

  • industrial designs.

The agreement also makes reference to the actions, procedures and sanctions applicable in case of non-compliance with its provisions. The agreement came into force in 1999.

There are two institutions responsible for enforcing the rights and obligations provided in the above-mentioned legislation: (i) the Public Registry of Intellectual Property, which is attached to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce, and (ii) the Network Information Centre.

For further information on this topic please contact Carlos Taboada Rodriguez at Taboada & Asociados by telephone (+505 2 683 839) or by fax (+505 2 668 088) or by email ([email protected]). The Taboada & Asociados website can be accessed at