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Mexico undertakes long-awaited reforms to Industrial Property Law

Brighter days on the horizon for IP rightholders in Mexico. This month has seen the unfolding of news on major amendments to the Mexican Industrial Property Law. The long-awaited changes are manifold and will impact positively local and global rightholders.

Firstly, an amendment to the Mexican Industrial Property Law was passed as of March 13th, 2018, of which we highlight the following:

  • A better regulation of utility models and industrial designs.

  • A more thorough regulation of Designations of Origin and the inclusion of Geographical Indications, including a procedure for recognizing foreign DOs and IGs in Mexico.

In addition, the Committee on Economy of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved in February an opinion to undertake a major reform of the Industrial Property Law, targeting essentially trademarks. The expectation is that this text will not be majorly altered and will pass before the Mexican general elections in July. We find special interest in the following proposals:

  • A mark is defined as any sign that can be perceived by the senses, thus opening the door to non-traditional trademarks such as olfactory and sound trademarks, or to combinations of different types of trademarks.

  • The proposal expressly includes trade dress.

  • The text expands bars to registration and includes language prohibiting false representations or false designations of origin.

  • Bad faith will be a bar to registration.

  • Secondary meaning is recognized as a mean of acquiring trademark protection.

  • Coexistence agreements will be admitted.

  • Certification Marks are introduced and the regulation of Collective Marks is expanded.

  • The recently established opposition system undergoes a significant change and will now be legally binding to the Mexican Trademark Office.

  • Trademark ownership will be tied to proof of use 3 years after the granting of a trademark and upon its renewal.

Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash

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