10 August 2018Trademarks

Mexico trademark amendments come into force

Amendments to Mexico’s IP law came into effect today, as the country looks to implement a more effective trademark system.

The changes improve the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property’s (IMPI) processes, while also introducing new concepts to Mexico’s trademark law.

Under the amendments, non-traditional trademarks including those for sounds, smells and holograms can be registered in Mexico.

Applicants now also have the ability to obtain certification trademarks, which indicate a special characteristic of a product (such as the geographical origin, or the conditions under which it was manufactured).

Additionally, a declaration of use must now be submitted under oath three years after the grant date of the trademark registration. If the declaration is not filed within the three-month period, the registration will lapse.

Law firm Becerril, Coca & Becerril believes that the declaration of use requirement represents a “clear damage” for trademark owners. Several discussions have been undertaken with IMPI to confirm the criteria that it will apply.

In a client update, released on July 20, the law firm said that all registrations granted after August 10 must submit the declarations of use but that all registrations granted before this date do not need to submit the declaration at the third anniversary (and only need to submit at the time of renewal).

“Nevertheless, since contrary interpretations could be concluded by other judicial authorities in subsequent instances due the fact that the published decree is not clear enough … in order to be on the safe side and avoid any unnecessary risks for our clients, for all marks that were granted from May 10, 2015 onwards, it is advisable to submit the declaration of use,” the law firm concluded.

According to statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization, Mexico’s trademark filing activity increased by 8% (to 141,726) in 2016 compared to the previous year.

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19 September 2019   Updates to Mexico’s IP law have opened the door for rights holders to protect new kinds of trademarks, but real-world applications are challenging, as Christian Thomae of Dumont explains.
22 June 2018   The Mexican Institute of Industrial Property has updated its IP law to allow for the protection of some non-traditional marks.