Trademark Counterfeiting in Costa Rica

In accordance with the “Ley de Procedimientos de Observancia de Propiedad Intelectual” (Law 8039), there are several crimes against the rights of intellectual property derived from trademarks, among which are the so-called «brand falsification».

This offense establishes that whoever forges a registered trademark or a distinctive sign, causing damage to the owner or third parties from the rights conferred by the registration of the trademark, will be sanctioned with fines ranging from twenty (20) basic salaries to five (5) years in jail.

The offense typifies the falsification of a trademark and protects the rights conferred by a previous registration, however, for the purpose of filing a complaint, the Law 8039 establishes as an indispensable element, the registration of the trademark that is being violated, that is if the trademark is not duly registered, the owner of the trademark cannot report the counterfeiter.

Based on the foregoing, in the criminal process the owner of the trademark must demonstrate:

a. The acquired right.

b. The registration of the trademark that is being violated.

c. The affectation that the falsification causes to itself and to third parties.

With the above elements, the owner of a brand may assert its rights against those who use and falsify it in an improper manner.