April 03, 2018

Amendments to the Mexican IP Law

The current Mexican Industrial Property Law (hereinafter referred to as Law) is poised to be changed. According to the Official Gazette of the Federation published on March 13, 2018, a set of amendments concerning patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs will come into force in 30 business days after the mentioned publication, that is by the end of April. Also, the amended Law will stipulate protection of the geographical indications, which is a new IP right for Mexico.

The amendments to the Law apply significantly to the industrial designs. Currently, the maximal term of industrial design protection is 15 years, however, as soon as the Law takes effect the validity term will be extended up to 25 years. A design patent can be renewed every 5 years up to the maximal term. The owners will still have to apply for renewal within 6 months before the validity term expires or during the grace period of 6 months after its expiration (on condition of surcharge). Meanwhile, the holders of the previously granted design patents will enjoy the renewal advantages too, as they have a possibility to renew their design patents up to 25 years accordingly. As to the pending design applications, if applicant desires to obtain the new benefit of renewal, it will be required to submit a petition within 30 business days after the Law becomes operative.

There will also be a change to the invention patent regulations. Namely, the opposition period will be reduced from 6 to 2 months starting from the publication of the patent application.

Concerning other modifications to the Law, utility model and design applications will be published upon completion of their formal examination, without the early publication being requested. Therefore, other applicants, inventors and third parties will be able to see the already existing pending applications. The records of industrial designs, utility models and their renewals will be further published in the Gazette.

Also, pursuant to the new modifications, no geographic name, map, name of a town, adjective or demonym can be a part of a trademark. Such a trademark will not be registered as it can mislead potential consumers as to the origin of the products and/or services.

Therefore, the Law amends and defines some terms and concepts concerning various rights protection, thus becoming more explicit and apprehensible, as well as closer to the international practice.

 

Author: Robert Hackney

 

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