According to decision No.DRPI-02-2013, the Costa Rican Patent Office amended some of the guidelines for examination of patent applications. The guidelines issued by the Director of the Intellectual Property Registry entered into effect June 25, 2013.

The new guidelines help consolidate some rules related to time period for filing a reply to official preventions, assignment of rights, change of title of the invention, amendments to the application, and access to examiners.

Time Limits

The time period established for compliance to formal requirements by the registrar or examiner's objections will be 15 business days from notice to applicant, pursuant to article 9.2 of the Patent Law, with the exceptions established in the law and the PCT.

Assignment of Rights

According to article 6.3 of the Patent Law and article 5.5 of the Patent Rules, in every case when the applicant is not the inventor, it is necessary to submit essential documentation in order to support the right of the applicant to obtain registration. In such cases, the applicant must file one of the following:  a) legalized affidavit signed by the applicant, b) legalized assignment of rights signed by all inventors, in which case acceptance by assignee is not necessary, or c) affidavit signed by the appointed representative with power of attorney.

Title of the invention

Article 5.2 of the Patent Rules establishes that the title of the invention should: a) clearly and concisely indicate the subject to which the invention relates, b) indicate if the invention relates to either a product or a process or both, and c) should not include personal names, fancy names, trademarks, etc.

Under the new guidelines, the Patent Office will examine the compliance of condition c) during the inspection of formal requirements, and conditions a) and b) during the formal examination of the patent application.

In case of a title where the wording is very general or in case of a partial granting of the patent, the examiner will adequate the title in accordance to the subject matter. In such case, the patentability report must include a justification of the modification of the title.


Amendment of application in response to examiner's requisition

When the examiner requires a modification of the specification or claims, and considers that is not necessary to file a whole new document, amendments may be made by the submission of replacement sheets to be incorporated to the application. The Patent Office will issue a resolution determining acceptability of the amendments. In such case, the examiner will be responsible of verifying that the new pages submitted by the applicant are placed correctly.

Access to examiners

With the purpose of giving applicants access to examiners, the Patent Office will provide special consultation hours with examiners during the examination period. One examiner consultation will be allowed per applicant once a week.  If necessary, a follow-up meeting may be coordinated before the next weekly consultation period.