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Patent Processing in Mexico and Costa Rica

Patent processing is always an advised procedure for any company considering exporting their products to countries abroad; particularly in cases where their products may hold a unique inventive quality which may be wise to protect against any type of local replication.

The patents and trademarks are territorial rights. Once a first patent application is made in any country in the world, the owner has 12 months to apply in any other country without destroying the requirement of "novelty". It is possible to extend this period up to 30 months in 144 countries through a patent application filed under the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty); which provides a unified procedure for filing patent applications to protect inventions in each of its contracting states. PCT filing will save your company costs and provide you with more time to process multiple local patents abroad.

The following brief summarizes the key requirements, time and estimated costs involved in the local patent process for Costa Rica and Mexico; and is intended as an initial guide for the interested business. An individual assessment of each particular case is advised, please contact us if you require more details.

In Costa Rica (the procedure is slightly simpler and less expensive in comparison with Mexico):

  1. Requirements:
    • Comply with the 3 basic tenets of Patent-Processable requests:
      • Novelty: The invention must be new; if the inventor discloses his invention by any means, this can ruin the novelty aspect of the patent. A classic example is the university researcher who publishes the invention in a magazine before patenting the results of their invention.
      • Inventiveness: not obvious to an expert in the field.
      • Industrial Application: The invention serves to something that solves a real existing problem and can be accomplished.
      • Excluded from patentability:
        • The findings (things) as such.
        • The mathematical or business methods.
        • Medical diagnoses or surgical procedures.
        • Computer programs.
    • Presentation of diagrams and plans of product invention for a local certification institution (Engineering, Chemical, et.al.) to revise and validate the invention.
    • An invention research engagement is advised (approximate cost: $100) in order to confirm that the invention is technically patent-worthy in the country; this way saving time and money for you.
  2. Processing Time: 6 months.
  3. Protection Validity: Starts at the moment the process is initiated; since it is in a “first-in, first awarded basis” the patent protection is effective on day 1 of the patent request is submitted.
  4. Estimated Cost: Approximately $1,500; typically paid 50% initial, 50% final (6 months later).

 

In Mexico:

  1. Requirements:
    • Comply with the 3 basic tenets of Patent-Processable requests (this applies also to Costa Rica):
      • Novelty: The invention must be new; if the inventor discloses his invention by any means, this can ruin the novelty aspect of the patent. A classic example is the university researcher who publishes the invention in a magazine before patenting the results of their invention.
      • Inventiveness: not obvious to an expert in the field.
      • Industrial Application: The invention serves to something that solves a real existing problem and can be accomplished.
      • Excluded from patentability:
        • The findings (things) as such.
        • The mathematical or business methods.
        • Medical diagnoses or surgical procedures.
        • Computer programs.
    • The description of the invention (if you do not have one, a law firm can work on this to make sure you cover all requirements, with a cost ranging between US$550 and US$1,500).
    • Claims documentation of the invention.
    • Technical drawings (if any).
    • A signed authorization without legalizing (prepared by lawyer).
    • The data of the application (name, address, country where you are a citizen or where the company is constituted, etc.).
    • Full details of each of the inventors involved (name, address, country from where you are a citizen, etc..). These have to be actual people who have invented the item at hand.
    • Information on whether this invention has been previously presented in another office, such as in Thailand or any other country.
  2. Processing Time: 6 months.
  3. Estimated Costs:
    • Patents pay fees for:
      • Processing Request;
      • Search Report;
      • Publication;
      • Review of Patentability;
      • Concession;
      • Annuities.
    • If the invention description is already available; total investment estimation: US$5,000.
    • If a law firm has to create the invention description; total investment estimation: US$6,500.

 Article created with the kind contributions of Patent Specialists: Arturo Ortiz (Costa Rica) and Adrián Esquivel  (México).

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