Third parties may file a petition to cancel registered trademarks in Costa Rica if the trademark has not been used within 5 years from the date in which the cancellation action is filed. However, said action cannot be filed during the first 5 years of registration.

Our Trademark Law establishes in its article 40 the definition of trademark use. In accordance, a registered trademark is considered used when the products or services protected under the mark are put in commerce in the quantity and regular manner that normally are set for them, taking into account the size of the market, the nature of the products or services and the channels of trade. Exportation of products, as well as services provided from Costa Rica to foreign countries is also accepted as use of the trademark.

The definition included in the law is vague and there are no judicial precedents for this matter. This regulation does not make any difference between trademarks as opposed to service marks, nor does it regulate the use of marks for sales of goods and services over the Internet.

The law could be interpreted as indicating that the use of a trademark should be a bona fide use of the mark in the ordinary course of trade, therefore, a mere token use will not qualify. The products must be offered or sold and the services must be offered or provided in a regular manner.

Despite of the above, if there are justified reasons for not using the marks such as restrictions of importation or any other official requirement difficult to meet, the cancellation action will not prevail.