Challenges for patent owners in Costa Rica


Maria del Pilar Lopez and Esteban Monge

For the past two decades patent regimes have undergone important changes. The purpose of these changes was to strengthen patent rights and to reinforce exclusive rights granted to patent holders, increasing their coverage and facilitating their enforcement.

In most Latin American countries, the enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights was never a priority for the legal systems. In the specific case of patent protection in Costa Rica, there was a status quo and a well-defined protectionist culture with respect to patent registration and enforcement. The protection terms were the bare minimum and a patent registration culture was non-existent.

Nevertheless, as Costa Rica joined the World Trade Organization in 1995, several IP obligations were adopted by the country.

Costa Rica, patent rights, exclusions, oppositions