Mexican IP – Famous and Commonly Known Trademarks

May 17, 2010
Mexican IP – Famous and Commonly Known Trademarks

Since 2005, Mexico’s Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial) has regulated specifically those trademarks that are famous and notorious among the general public, establishing special procedures through which the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial or IMPI) may qualify and declare as famous or notorious certain trademarks. A notoriously known trademark is one that is well-known in a determined sector or commercial area of the country as a consequence of the commercial activities of a Mexican or foreign company, while a famous trademark is a mark known by a majority of the consuming public. It is important for owners of such real property, as well as the general public, to know of the existence of these types of famous or notorious trademarks, given that it is precisely the spirit of trademark law that producers of goods or services obtain such recognition and that, in turn, the consuming public has a certainty of what type and origin of products or services they are acquiring. The above is important given that after five years of existence under Mexican law of the notorious and famous trademark concept, in recent days the first declaration of a famous trademark has been published in Mexico, that being for the trademark RED BULL®. Many other companies are seeking additional protection of their trademarks because they are known in determined sectors or by the public in general, which has prompted many proceedings seeking these famous trademark declarations. Thus, it is likely that soon many more trademarks will receive this type of recognition. If at the beginning of this period of time, precisely because of its novelty in Mexico, these famous and notorious trademark applications take time to process, it is hoped that such will become more common and the issuance of declarations of famous or notorious status will become routine. Companies that consider their trademarks to merit such category or classification and additional protection should seriously consider applying for issuance of a declaration of famous or notorious status for their trademarks.

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