Crossed wires: protecting medicines in Mexico


Daniel Sánchez and Victor Ramirez

Crossed wires: protecting medicines in Mexico

When introducing medicinal products to any market, the strength of the trademark is crucial. But the Mexican system requires getting trademark approval from two different authorities.

Trademark registration system

Trademarks in Mexico are regulated under the Industrial Property Law (IPL) and its regulations. In general, businesses, merchants, or service providers can use trademarks in industry, commerce or in the services they render (Article 87, IPL). The right to their exclusive use is obtained through their registration with the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). Any person or entity is entitled to apply for a trademark registration before the IMPI, and actual use is not required by the IPL.

All visible signs can be protected provided that they are sufficiently distinctive, and are able to identify the products or services to which they are applied, or are intended to be applied, from those in the same class (Article 89, IPL). Under this definition, olfactory and auditory trademarks cannot be protected.

IPL, IMPI, pharmaceuticals, COFEPRIS