Decree 76/2006, which reforms the structure of the environmental evaluation system, has recently entered into force. The new regulation is part of a strategy developed by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources to decentralize the environmental administration of the country. The aim is that environmental permits and assessments be obtained in a more efficient and effective way.
There is a clear link between the antitrust regime and patent rights: while antitrust norms seek to guarantee market efficiency, patent rights aim to prevent the imitation of patented products. However, certain specialists concluded that there is a contradiction between protecting the market and granting a legal monopoly to inventors, as many owners of patent rights abuse their dominant position.
Foreign investment in tourism qualifies for incentives under the Law on Incentives for the Tourism Industry. Among other things, foreign investment will benefit from a partial exemption from income tax for 10 years once the project has been approved by the Nicaraguan Tourism Institute.
Private foreign investments enjoy the same rights and guarantees as those afforded to domestic investments. Furthermore, the Foreign Investment Promotion Law provides for special rights and guarantees for foreign investors and investments. In order to benefit from these special rights and guarantees, foreign investors must register their investment with the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade.
Foreign investments under the free zone regime are granted several tax benefits under the Law on Industrial Free Zones for Exports. Among other things, foreign investors benefit from a total exemption from income tax for the first 10 years and a 60% exemption thereafter.
Following the ratification of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States, the reform of some articles of the Law on General Trademarks and Other Distinctive Signs became necessary in order to meet the requirements of the agreement. One of the main issues addressed by the reform was the infringement of IP rights.
The National Assembly of Nicaragua has approved the Millennium Challenge Agreement between Nicaragua and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (as representative of the US government). The agreement aims to increase investment and boost the development of rural enterprises through the improvement of property rights, infrastructure and the competitiveness of enterprises.
The General Law on Banks, Non-banking Financial Institutions and Financial Groups regulates the establishment of branches of foreign banks. The application for the establishment of a branch must be filed before the Superintendency of Banks, which must approve or deny it within 120 days.
The new Mediation and Arbitration Law was finally published in the Official Gazette on June 24 2005. Among other things, parties may request the nullity of arbitration awards before the Civil Court of the Supreme Court of Justice. Therefore, arbitration awards cannot be considered as final decisions and the arbitration process cannot be carried out independently of the judicial power.
Including: Income Tax; Value Added Tax; Municipal Tax.
Trademark registrations are relatively recent in Nicaragua. International legislation used to protect IP rights until the promulgation of a national law in 2001: the Law on Trademarks and Other Distinctive Signs. This update provides a practical guide to the registration of trademarks in Nicaragua.
On October 28 2005 the National Assembly approved the Tributary Code. The code aims mainly to establish a more appropriate relationship between the tributary administration and taxpayers in order to achieve the fair application of taxes, while ensuring judicial security. The code will enter into force six months after its publication in the Official Gazette.
Among other things, when filing an application for trademark registration in Nicaragua, it is necessary to observe the distinction established by law between trademarks for products and trademarks for services. This update reviews the various classifications of trademarks under Nicaraguan law.
The Supreme Court has declared Section 81(4) of the Regulatory Provisions of the Fiscal Equity Law unconstitutional. The provision had established a 4% at-source retention rate on occasional income derived from the transfer of immovable goods, automobiles, ships, aircraft and certain goods. The court argued that the executive power is not authorized to create taxes through a regulatory disposition.
Exclusive distribution contracts allow manufacturers to introduce their products in other countries and protect their IP rights. Nicaraguan IP law establishes the principle of exhaustion of IP rights, which represents a limit to the exclusive right of the trademark holder. The principle relies on a 'positive right to use', which aims to eliminate restrictions to commerce.
In order to guarantee that the winning party of a case can enforce the court's judgment, preventive measures have been established. For instance, where an amount of money is sought, a preventive attachment of property may be executed so that, upon a favourable judgment, the auction of the property may be ordered and the creditor will receive payment.
A range of procedural remedies are available under Nicaraguan law in case of infringement of IP rights. General Law 380 on Trademarks and Other Distinctive Signs provides for the right to object to the registration of a trademark that is similar or identical to an existing trademark. The law also provides for the possibility to appeal before the Registry of Intellectual Property.
Registration tax is provided for by the Municipal Tax Law, which applies to all municipalities apart from Managua, in which the Managua Municipal Tax law applies. The Municipal Tax Law provides that any natural or legal person selling goods or rendering services must request that the municipality register all economic activities it performs on an annual basis.
Nicaraguan commercial legislation recognizes four types of company: general partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations and joint stock associations. Among these, the most common are corporations, followed by general partnerships, which usually limit the liability of partners and are therefore considered as limited liability companies.
Including: Trademarks; Patents; Utility Models; Industrial Designs.