January 1, 2013
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COSTA RICA: “Turrialba Cheese” Registered as First Appellation of Origin
On November 6, 2012, the Costa Rican Trademark Office registered the first appellation of origin for a Costa Rican product: “Turrialba Cheese” (Reg. No. 222520).
This registration was the result of a long process, which started in February 2008 with the filing of an application by the Producers of Santa Cruz of Turrialba Association. The application was opposed by the biggest dairy products company in Costa Rica, Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos.
In Decision 692-2012, the Tribunal Registral Adminstrativo (Appellate Administrative Court) of Costa Rica validated the registration and ruled against the opposition filed by Dos Pinos.
The registration of the “Turrialba Cheese” appellation of origin and the ruling of the Appellate Administrative Court represent two important innovations in Costa Rican trademark law and practice. First, as noted above, this is the first appellation of origin for a Costa Rican product, and it is expected to open the door to many other national producers to start or continue the process to be followed in order to obtain this distinction. Second, the court’s ruling indicates the importance of appellations of origin with respect to the Trademark Law, strengthening the concept of distinctive signs and establishing origin, quality and special characteristics of the product subject to protection.
Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers
are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.
© 2013 International Trademark Association