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 the seizure of over 100.000 illegal medicines.
Given the interest shown in this matter over the last few years, we can expect that more measures will be taken, hopefully multilateral, in order to prevent and discourage the traffic of counterfeit products, and to seize those that may reach customs.
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 measures, no one was certain of the real integrity and consequent effectiveness of the medication.
Crestor is a drug which is indicated for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, due to the fact that it reduces the risk of cardiovascular accidents, the risk of myocardial infarctions, the risk of revascularization procedures; and also to reduce total cholesterol, LDL-C, Apo B, non-HDL cholesterol and triglycerides and helps for increasing HDL-C.
Upon being notified of the existence of their product’s packaging being counterfeited, AstraZeneca Laboratories called for an immediate removal of the expired products from the shelves of Mexican pharmacies.
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, this opposition system reduces the filing of administrative nullity claims (against already registered marks) since they make up for the nonexistence of an opposition procedure.
In connection with the proceeding per se, the amendments made in the IP law establish that within 10 working days following the filing of new trademark applications, the same shall be published in the IP Gazette for opposition purposes, for an non-extendable term of one month.
Once the opposition term has lapsed, the Mexican TM Office (IMPI) will publish, within 10 working days, a list of all applications that met oppositions by third parties. As from the publication date of the applications with opposition, a non-extendable term of one month is set in order for the applicant to reply to the opposition.
During the examination stage, the Examiner will evaluate the grounds of opposition as well as the defensive arguments filed by the applicant (if they have been filed), though the Examiner will be able to consider the arguments exposed by both parties or disregard them at his or her discretion.
The oppositions shall not be considered as part of the TM registration proceeding, so the same shall not suspend the registration time frames of each application. This is why it will not be mandatory for the applicant to reply to the opposition from a third party. Lack of reply from the applicant shall not be considered as an acceptance of the opposition´s arguments.
Finally, in connection with the formalities of the opposition filing, the same must be filed in writing, together with the documents estimated as relevant, as well as with the corresponding tax payment receipt.
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.mxRead More
On March 14, 2016, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) hosted the 13th Meeting of the Group on Fight against Illegality (“13ª Reunión de la Mesa de Combate a la Ilegalidad“), which has the objective to discuss the progress of actions in protection of intellectual property rights. Both public and private entities are part of this office. The Group on Fight against Illegality is composed by representatives of several Mexican governmental authorities, as well as of the private sector.
During the meeting, Miguel Ángel Margáin, Director General of IMPI, shared with attendees information regarding actions on enforcement that were carried out by the Institute during 2015. He also noted that 206 officials were trained and urged the attendees to increase joint efforts.
Aristóteles Núñez, head of the Tributary Administration Service (“Servicio de Administración tributaria” – SAT), highlighted the work done so far between the public and private sectors, and invited the members to strengthen the commitments and exchange of information made for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes and administrative offenses related to unlawful conduct.
The National Institute of Copyright (Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor – INDAUTOR) recently announced an update in their fees for procedures and services.
For specific information regarding the current fee chart, please click here
This new rates entered into force on January 1, 2016.
Source: www.Indautor.gob.mxRead More
During a press conference in December, the Director General of IMPI, Miguel Ángel Margáin, reported that 129,619 trademark applications were filed in the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) from January to November 2015, an increase of 3 percent in 11 months over the entire year of 2014.
The number of trademark applications filed online also increased 33.5 percent over 2014.
Regarding trademark registrations, Margáin stated that 90,105 were granted in 2014, and an increase of 11 percent is expected in 2015.
Margáin added that the number of trademark applications filed under the Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Trademarks during 2015 was almost 22,000, compared to 16,707 in 2014. In only two years since its adherence to the protocol in 2013, Mexico ranks 10th worldwide regarding the number of international trademark filings at IMPI.
Source: http://www.informador.com.mxRead More
On November 30, 2015, the Mexican Official Gazette published news of an increase in official fees between 5 to 10 percent for services provided by the the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property; the increase became effective on January 1, 2016.
The fees for filing a patent application have increased 5.3% while the fees corresponding to the issuance of a patent have gone up 6.4%. Regarding the fees for filing utility models and industrial designs, these have increased 5.1%, while trademark filings have raised 6.7% and trademark renewals, 8%.
Click here to access the Official Gazette (Spanish version only).
On December 3 and 4, 2015, the Business of Intellectual Property Asia Forum (BIP Asia IP Forum) was held in Hong Kong. Jointly organized by the local government, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hong Kong Design Centre, the BIP Asia Forum brings IP professionals and business leaders from all over the world to discuss the latest developments, and to explore business collaboration opportunities.
With the theme “IP: Transforming Global Business,” the event featured more than 80 prominent speakers and more than 2,400 IP professionals from 37 countries, which represents a 16 per cent increase compared to last year. There was also an 85 percent increase in participants from countries and regions such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates, demonstrating rising demand for IP services in the region.
The Director General of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) participated in the forum with the aim of finding opportunities for Mexican companies to expand their business in the Asian market. To reach this objective, it will be necessary to get to know the usual practices of East Asia as well as its experience in creating trading hubs.
The next edition will return on 1-2 December 2016.
Source: www.impi.gob.mxRead More
The Director General of the Mexican PTO (IMPI) made a working trip to Panama and the Republic of El Salvador to strengthen links with government, business and academic groups that are part of the industrial property world.
At the meeting in the Republic of El Salvador, which included the Ambassador of Mexico, cooperation activities in relation to industrial property rights in both nations were shared.
In Panama, the director of IMPI attended the Meeting of Leaders (Reunión de Líderes), organized by the International Trademark Association (INTA), in which he shared news about distinctive signs with members of the Trademark Committee.
In addition, the General Director of IMPI and Mr. Danny Marti, the coordinator for Enforcement of Intellectual Property for the US government, had a meeting to discuss the possible next steps to be taken in the IP field.
Source: www.impi.gob.mxRead More