Mexico simplifies the acknowledgement of priority claims in trademark matters

July 17, 2011 at 9:10 PM Leave a comment

On June 11, 2011, the Official Journal of the Federation published several amendments to the Rules of the Industrial Property Statute (the Rules). One of the amendments refers to the documents required to have a priority claim acknowledged in trademark matters.

Before the amendment, if an applicant wanted to claim priority, it had to state the application serial number of the claimed priority in the Mexican application and file a certified copy of the priority application with the Mexican Patent and Trademark Office (MPTO) within a three month term counted from the filing of the trademark application in Mexico in order to have the priority claim acknowledged.

Now, the applicant only has to state the priority application serial number in the Mexican application – and enter the government fee for the acknowledgement of a priority- to secure the priority right.

If the Mexican trademark application lists more products than the ones stated in the priority, the priority would be acknowledged only for the coincidental goods. If an applicant claims a non-existent priority and the MPTO issues a registration with such  a false claim, the trademark registration may be declared invalid.

The new simplified rule for priority trademark applications only benefits applications filed after June 11, 2011. This new rule should significantly reduce the cost of filing trademark applications with priority claim, given that the trademark agent will have one less deadline to worry about.

Regrettably, while the procedure for Mexican trademark applications is evolving to require fewer formalities, the patent application procedure has virtually remained the same since 1994.

For example, it is no longer necessary to file a power of attorney with the MPTO when filing a trademark application, but such formality has been maintained for patent applications. Now, the applicant does not have to file a certified copy of the priority application in the case of trademarks, but the formality persists for patents.

Further, the amended Rules expressly state that if the applicant files the priority document without translation, the applicant has a two months term to file the Spanish translations and the MPTO has not have to issue an office action requesting the translation; otherwise, the priority claim would not be acknowledged. However, the precedents from the Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Affairs state that it is illegal for the MPTO to refuse acknowledging a priority claim because the applicant did not file the Spanish translation of the document within the two months term, if the MPTO did not issue an office action requesting the translation 1. .

The MPTO has not explained the reasons why the procedural rules and provisions regarding patents are not following the less formalistic trend of the trademark-related procedures. I do not see a technical reason, and I may only speculate that the people in charge of patents and the people in charge of trademarks believe that, rather than a Mexican Patent and Trademark Office, there is a Mexican Patent Office and a Mexican Trademark Office.

1 Precedent “Patent. The Auhtority has the obligation to request the translation that was not filed with the patent application” – Page 463, Revista del Tribunal Federal de Justicia Fiscal y Administrativa or Journal of the Federal Court of Tax and Administrative Affairs, Sixth Era, Volume 26, February 2010 (VI-TASR-EPI-222).

Entry filed under: Trademark law. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Amendments to the Rules Governing Registration of Word-Marks in Mexico An amendment in the Industrial Property Statute increases fines for bad-faith infringers in Mexico

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