Protected Designations of Origin in Nicaragua

Posted by: Francisco Jose Alvarado | Senior Associate at Alvarado y Asociados

Law No. 380 Law of Trademarks and other Distinctive Signs (LMOSD), states that a Protected Designations of Origin is a:

Geographical indication that identifies a product originating in a country, region, locality or place whose quality, reputation or other characteristics is attributable essentially to its geographical origin, including human and natural factors; the denomination of a product that, without being a geographical name, denotes a geographical origin when applied to that product, whose quality, reputation or other characteristic is essentially attributable to its geographical origin, will also be considered as denomination of origin.

Protected Designations of Origin are relevant because they are valuable tools to boost trade, invigorating the economy, protecting local products and thus favoring the increased consumption of the protected product, guaranteeing quality to consumers and protecting manufacturers.

Above all, the protection of the DO through the legal system allows directly the promotion and stimulation of ingenuity, creation, production and human work in the field of industry and commerce. That is why, in addition to Law No. 380 and its regulations, Nicaragua has signed International Agreements and Treaties such as the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico  and the Republics of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua (22 November 2011); Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union (May 19, 2012); Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (effective July 3, 1996); Lisbon Agreement (in force since September 25, 1966), TRIPS (1995), among others.

The registration of a DO, can be requested by any formally constituted entity that represents two or more producers, manufacturers or artisans whose production, manufacturing or manufacturing establishments are located in the region or in the locality to which the denomination of origin corresponds, it may also be requested by a competent national authority.

The process of requesting and obtaining a Protected Designation of Origin of a product is duly established by the LMOSD and its Regulations. The regulation includes contents such as: concepts of said figure, subjects authorized to request registration, registration procedure, publication notices, form and background examination, general aspects on the right to use the DO, and cancellation of the registration and finally criminal penalties for infractions against the law.

Although, the regulation aims to provide legal protection to these denominations, it should be noted that an exclusive and absolute right of exploitation is not attributed to a single person for the use of this sign, but has as a requirement the creation of a formally constituted entity representing two or more producers, manufacturers or artisans whose production, manufacturing or manufacturing establishments are located in the region or in the locality to which the denomination of origin corresponds and it is precisely to this entity that it is protected, subject to compliance with conditions and requirements indicated by the applicable legislation.

Opting for a Denomination of Origin is a fundamental step to ensure the protection of Nicaraguan products and their projection to national and international competitive markets, recognizing the quality that characterizes them, such as, Rosquillas Somoteñas, Coffee from regions of the North of the country and Queso (Cheese) Chontaleño, etc.

Please contact Francisco Jose Alvarado falvarado@alvaradoyasociados.com.ni if you require additional information.

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