Abstract: It is now possible to e-file applications before the Costa Rican Trademark Office through WIPO File digital platform

On 20 August 2020, the Costa Rican Trademark Office issued a Directive (DRPI-00001-2020) specifically aimed at enabling the use of WIPO File in Costa Rica, which is a digital platform developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization, to e-file trademark applications. The move translates into the possibility for the TMO´s users, such as individuals, companies and Intellectual Property agents, to file online trademark, trade names, and slogan’s applications. Moreover, the option of submitting any additional document regarding such applications, including priority documents and power of attorneys, as well as filing responses to office actions and appeals, is another helpful function that the system provides.

It should be noted that use of the platform is conditioned to the requirement of having a digital signature duly accredited by Costa Rican local authorities.

Further, it is important to clarify that even though the platform is available 24/7 and consequently it is possible to submit applications at any day and time, the TMO´s official document reception hours will still be binding. In other words, if the application is submitted within 8am to 3pm of a business day,  the submission date will also be the date of receipt, but if the application is submitted later than 3pm or during a non-business day, the date of receipt will be the next business day. The date of filing will be assigned by the TMO once the officers have verified that the application complies with all the applicable requirements; the latter being the same as the date of receipt if the application complied with all the requirements at the moment it was submitted.

At this first stage of implementation, all post- application proceedings, such as change of name/domicile, assignments, renovations, oppositions, cancellation and nullity actions, amongst others, are not within the scope of the service, thus all related documents must be filed using alternative methods i.e., in person, via fax, or to the email that was recently facilitated by the TMO due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This new project reaffirms the TMO´s commitment to provide better services through digitalization. Moreover, the platform is a significant resource for both the TMO and IP firms handling trademark registrations in Costa Rica, which will finally translate into greater efficiency for trademark applicants.