The Registry of Industrial Property of Costa Rica has changed, without prior notice, its criterion on the granting of extensions of a deadline in patent procedures, according to new resolutions notified to the applicants of patent applications.

Although it has always been under the discretion of the Patent Office to either accept or reject the extension of a deadline, in recent years its common practice has been to grant additional terms with ease. However, the Authority has now decided that extensions will only be granted when it can be verified that there is a material impossibility to meet the deadline by furnishing the corresponding evidence, and it will be up to the Authority to grant them.

There are no specific guidelines as to the kind of evidence that the PTO will accept nor as to the reasons that can be argued in the request of a deadline extension. It is expected that the PTO will clarify this matter either with a written policy or with a set of guidelines.

This new criterion is a new measure to streamline the patent process and reduce the current backlog of the PTO.

Therefore, at this moment, we strongly recommend to file the responses to the office actions without requesting any extensions.