According to decision No. DPI-0003-2017, the Costa Rican Trademark Office issued new guidelines for the elaboration of the technical report concerning applications of geographical indications and denominations of origin.
The guidelines issued by the Director of the Intellectual Property Registry entered into force June 12, 2017. In accordance with the new guidelines, any technical report must be presented by the assigned entity in a structured manner containing, at least, the following:
1. Introduction: applicant’s information, a reproduction of the sign, goods protected, delimited geographical zone.
2. Summary of the file: an overview of the technical documentation and specifications submitted by the applicant, including arguments regarding an opposition, if there is one, and its response.
3. A brief description of the methodology used for the elaboration of the report, as well as the verification method.
4. Technical analysis: the examination itself, comprising of 3 stages:
a. Code of Practice: the report must establish if the code of practice submitted by the applicant complies with every single requirement set forth by law, indicating the applied verification method as well as the correspondent result. Other documentation like lab tests and site visit reports must be submitted as well.
b. Rules of use and administration: the report must establish if, from a technical perspective, the rules of use and administration are viable, properly written and complies fully with the purposes imposed by the law.
c. Attachment to the concept of Geographical Indication or Denomination of Origin: based on the analysis in paragraphs a. and b. above, the report should indicate whether the product or service meets the conditions necessary to fit the definition of denomination of origin or geographical indication, as delimited by the law. In case of existing opposition, the report must include a decision regarding the objections of technical nature, analyzing each one individually, referring to the submitted evidence and indicating the used verification method.
d. Conclusion: the report must conclude expressly the following:
compliance with the totality of the requirements laid down in the law, concerning the following aspects: if the determined quality standards allow to distinguish the product or service from others of the same kind from different geographical region; if the quality, reputation and characteristics of the product or service that is intended to protect, are attributable to its geographical origin and therefore not easily reproducible in other geographical regions; if the subjective elements, namely reputation as well as cultural and historical roots of the product or service are easily proved.
· feasibility or not, from a specialized technical perspective, of the rules of use and administration.
· confirmation or discard of the merely technical objections filed in opposition.
· final criterion: indicate from a technical perspective if the requirements to be registered as denomination of origin or geographical indication are met.
The new guidelines also establish that it is necessary to submit as annexes specific documents as: individual technical reports, collecting samples, lab tests results, site visit reports and any other instrument that is considered relevant.
Finally, the Trademark Office emphasizes that this guide should be used as an example of the minimum information required to have a satisfactory final technical report in the process of registration of denomination of origins and geographical indications, and that the provisions set forth in this new guidelines are of mandatory compliance.