Amendments to the Nicaraguan Trademark Law came into force on April 3, 2020 to expedite trademark proceedings. The amendments were effected by Law No. 1024, published in the Nicaragua Official Gazette on April 3, 2020. The amendments shorten opposition and response deadlines, increase and create new government fees, and require upfront payment of government fees.
- Opposition deadlines: All opposition deadlines have been shortened. The deadline to oppose a mark has been shortened from two months to thirty business days from publication. Likewise, the Applicant’s time to file a response has been shortened from two months to thirty business days. If no response is filed, the application will be deemed abandoned. The parties’ deadline to file evidence has been reduced from thirty to fifteen business days. A one-time request for an extension of fifteen business days to file evidence is available with payment of a government fee.
- Response deadline: The deadline to respond to an Office action or objection issued by the Nicaraguan Trademark Office has been reduced from two months to thirty business days. A one-time extension of fifteen days is available with payment of a government fee.
- Shortened deadline to submit Power of Attorney (“POA”): In case of emergency (not defined in the Amendments), Applicants can submit the POA after filing an application by placing a bond. However, the term to file the POA was reduced from two months to thirty business days from the filing date of such application. A one-time extension of a further fifteen days is available for submitting the POA with payment of a government fee.
- Upfront payment: Official fees are to be paid upfront. Prior to the amendment, filing and renewal fees could be paid within two months after filing.
- Fees: Most fees were increased from approximately USD $5 to USD $200. New fees were also created, including but not limited to fees for conducting searches for scent and design marks, requesting extensions of time, and updating a POA.