by Marta García
On November 30, 2018, a new trade agreement called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was signed by United States President Donald Trump, Mexican former President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during the 2018 G20 Summit in Buenos Aires.
The agreement, which must still be ratified by each party, is also unofficially known as “NAFTA 2.0”, since it is intended to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) currently in force.
The text of the USMCA, which was published on the Office of the United States Trade Representative website shortly after the formal agreement was announced on October 1, 2018, includes an extensive chapter on Intellectual Property covering standards concerning trademarks, geographical indications, patents and undisclosed tests, industrial designs, copyright and related rights, trade secrets, as well as a section regarding IPR enforcement.
Below is an analysis of some key provisions of the USMCA´s patents and data protection chapter, and their implication for the Mexican IP system after the agreement comes into force.
Non-confidentiality of patent files
Article 20.43 of the USMCA establishes that for published patent applications and granted patents, each party shall make available to the public: search and …Read More
We live in a dynamic reality, and in no area is that more evident than in commercial law, which constantly adapts to the new practices and requirements of an ever-changing world market.
With the backdrop of the globalized marketplace in mind, the Mexican Government has recently approved a series of amendments to the IP Law, which will be effective as of August 10, 2018. There are several amendments in relation to trademarks that will change how we are used to working in this country: The very definition of what a trademark is has changed, and although the essence is still the same, it can now be constituted by any sign perceived by the senses that may identify or define a product or service. The text now allows for the registration of holographic signs, sounds and smells, which were previously barred from registration. Trade dress and certification mark registrations are also included in the new text.
A new requirement has been included, as a declaration of effective use will have to be filed during the third year of registration. If this is not done, the registration will expire. No extension is possible. This also applies for renewals: In …Read More
The Mexican Senate approved on Thursday, April 26, 2018, an amendment to the Federal Law of Copyright that would possibly affect the right to freedom of expression on the Internet. There was no prior discussion in commissions and without respecting the legislative process by 63 votes in favor, 11 against and 23 abstentions.
The aforementioned amendment adds “Article 213 Bis” to the Federal Copyright Law and attaches a paragraph to “Article 215” of the same law. These modifications would allow judges to dictate measures to “suspend public representation, communication and/or execution” and for “the precautionary assurance of the instruments used in public representation, communication or execution” in order to prevent violations of the rights of author.
Regarding these modifications, Luis Fernando García, Director of the Network in Defense of Digital Rights (R3D), reported that the figure of “precautionary measures” is introduced to the head of the courts when there is only suspicion or risk of a violation of copyrights. This would imply that any court will have the power to order that a public communication, for example a video on the Internet, be censored or that servers, routers or other instruments used in its dissemination be …Read More
On March 13, 2018, the Mexican government and the Mexican Patent and Trademark Office (IMPI) made amendments to the Mexican Industrial Property Law. These changes affect specifically the publication of utility model and industrial design applications, the definition of independent creation and significative degree concepts, the extension term of industrial designs and the shortened time period for third party pre-issuance patent submissions.
These amendments will go into effect beginning April 13, 2018 and a detailed description is below.
Publishing of Utility Model and Industrial Design applications
Under the current law only patent applications are published in the Official Gazette. Once formal requirements are duly fulfilled (Articles 30 BIS and 37 BIS) Utility model applications and design applications will also be published in the Official Gazette as soon as possible. Granted utility models, industrial designs and patents will continue to be published as before.
Definition of Independent creation and significative degree concepts
Article 31 of the current Law defines as registrable designs that are new and susceptible to industrial applicability. On the hand, the same article defines as new the designs that are created independently the known designs or combinations of known features of designs, and which differ …Read More
By Moeller IP Advisors
A recent report by the WIPO placed Mexico among the first 15 countries for the number of patents granted per year.
According to the last data available, in 2016, the Mexican Intellectual Property Office (IMPI) received 17413 applications and granted 8652 patents.
The average pendency time for a first office action is only 3 months, while a final decision is provided, on average, in 36 months.
The pendency time depends on the quality of the application which should be complete, clear and concise; and on the complexity of the claim, which may require longer evaluations.
In order to further increase the speed of the process, the IMPI has signed several Patent Prosecution Highway programs with foreign patent offices. Notably, since 2011, PPH has been signed with the USA, Japan, Spain, Korea, Singapore, China, Canada, Portugal, the European Patent Office, Austria and with the other members of the Pacific Alliance – Colombia, Chile and Peru.
Through a PPH, when an applicant receives a final ruling from a first patent office saying that at least one claim is allowed, the applicant may request a fast-track examination of the corresponding claims to the second patent office.
This can eliminate …Read More
By Moeller IP Advisors
Gene therapy is a pioneering medical technique which consists in introducing genes or other genetic materials into a patient’s cells for therapeutic purposes. Genes are inserted to correct or replace abnormal or mutated genes into the patient’s body. Gene therapy has been developed to cure hereditary genetic conditions but late discoveries seem to give partial evidence that this technique could also have a promising role in treating acquired conditions like cancer.
However, since gene therapy is an extremely innovative technique, in its early stages, the legal framework has to effectively keep up with it, especially in developing countries like Mexico.
Patentability Issues in Mexico for Gene Therapy Treatments
It is clear that protecting the creation of gene therapy techniques can become pivotal for allowing the development of these treatments. Is gene therapy currently protected under Mexican Intellectual Property Laws?
Most of the time, gene therapy involves a surgical procedure for inserting the genetic materials into the patient’s body. This is particularly critical: indeed, it is well-known that Mexican Industrial Property law, in line with many other IP laws in South America, does not allow the patentability of medical methods.
Article 19 of the section 7 of …Read More
From November 30 to December 2, 2016, the European Union Delegation in Mexico held a regional seminar on Intellectual Property rights with customs officers of Mexico and other Central American countries.
The aim of this seminar was to share past experiences and to discuss strategies in connection with the international traffic of counterfeit products in the region. Staff training as well as the current legislation on the topic were discussed.
Experts in illegal traffic, Mr. Christopher Zimmerman, from the World Customs Organization, Mr. Juan Peralta, an international expert in the fight against illegal trafficking and Ms. Irely Aquique, the Director of the Mexican Institute on Intellectual Property, took part in the debates.
In the current state of affairs, it is clear that border protection is an increasingly relevant issue in Latin America, where the traffic of counterfeit products and forgeries is significant, many times surpassing the commercialization of original and official products. This has led to measures being taken by the Customs Authorities of each country.
For example, Panama, has worked with Interpol and the World Customs’ Organization to stop the illegal traffic of all kinds of products, such as Operation Pangea, which has already lead to …Read More
Employers of pharmacies in Mexico have been warned about the counterfeiting of CRESTOR, a drug for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases manufactured by AstraZeneca Laboratories.
The medicine involved is “CRESTOR” 10 mg in a presentation of 30 tablets. The packaging has been falsified for introducing expired medications in the hopes of reselling the expired tablets.
The commercial director of the National Association of Pharmacies of Mexico reported that all the expired drugs have been already removed from pharmacies.
On March 22, 2016 the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk has issued a public warning detailing the irregularities.
It has been recommended the population not purchase or use this product, as it may create a health risk. If someone has purchased or even used the product recently they should notify the Commission immediately at 018000335050.
While the original packaging describes the batch L 71456 and expiration date MAR 18, the fake version indicates the batch L 71456 and expiration date C ENE 18 (translated JAN 18).
In addition, the seal of the blister does not indicate the dosage or unit of the medicine (5 mg, 10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg).
Due to expert counterfeiting …Read More
After the Madrid System entered into force in 2013, Mexican trademark proceedings went through some amendments including the implementation of a formal opposition system that was approved by the Senate in December 2015.
This change was necessary, among other reasons, due to Madrid System´s demand regarding final refusals or rejections. Specifically, they must be issued within the term of 12 months from the local designation of the International Registrar. In this way, the opposition system shall allow the examiner to count on additional information regarding third party interests that may be affected. This will help to determine whether the new application can be registered or not, thus avoiding weak criteria in the assessment of the cases with the sole purpose of meeting the corresponding terms.
The implementation of the opposition system in Mexico does not only allow for the effective application of the Madrid Protocol, but it also brings harmonization between the local registration system and the international practices related to trademark registrations. Except for eventual disadvantages, such as the extension of the length of the registration procedure, this implementation increases the legal security and prevents the diminishing of trademark holders´ rights.
On the other hand, …Read More
Previously in our blog, we reported that the Mexican Senate published a bill to amend the Industrial Property Law to introduce an opposition system for trademarks and explained the key aspects of the trademark opposition system according to the bill.
Subsequently, on April 28, 2016, the Mexican Congress approved the amendment to the IP Law.
The amendment must be published in the Official Gazette and will enter into force three months after its publication.
Source: http://www5.diputados.gob.mx…Read More