An unhealthy decision? When laws collide


Jose Trigueros

Protection for new inventions, economic development and social benefits that flourish from R&D activities has solid foundations within the Mexican legal framework, but sometimes conflicts will arise, as Jose R. Trigueros explains.

Intellectual property and specifically patent law are two well-regarded areas of law in Mexico. The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) is one of the most efficient government bodies and with the recent development of a specialised chamber for IP matters within the Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Affairs (FCTA), Mexico is taking important steps forward in the complicated path of IP protection.

However, the path is never clear and setbacks may arise unexpectedly at any corner. In 2011, a controversial decision was issued by a First Circuit Collegiate Administrative Tribunal (one of Mexico’s highest courts and one of the most competent judicial bodies), and its ripples are still being felt within the IP community.

While the tribunal was requested to analyse the legality of an injunction brought against a company suspected of infringing patent rights, the decision went further and ruled that since the alleged infringer had been granted a sanitary authorisation by the Federal government, it had administrative authorisation to commercialise a product and therefore its commercial activities could not be considered illegal.

IMPI, IP protection, sanitary registration, MGHL, patent infringement