Mexican IP – Registration of Mixed Trademarks

April 16, 2010
Mexican IP – Registration of Mixed Trademarks

In conformity with the provisions of Mexico’s Industrial Property Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial), trademarks may be constituted by a simple name, by a design or by a three-dimensional form, or they may be “mixed” involving a combination of the three forms referred to above, as is the case of a trademark that contains a name and design, or a trademark that contains a name, design and three-dimensional form, etc. Mexico’s Industrial Property Institute (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial or IMPI) grants trademark registrations in Mexico after carrying out a “detailed examination” (examen de fondo) in which such agency analyzes if the mark may be registered, which is to say there is no legal impediment to registration (in accordance with the restrictions contained in article 90 of the law) and, where it also reviews existing trademark registrations and applications on file in its own database in order to avoid any confusion to the general public regarding the proposed trademark. It is during this detailed examination where trademark authorities must analyze the different elements comprising a trademark, including cases involving “mixed” trademarks, in order to analyze the feasibility of registering a trademark name, trademark design and three-dimensional trademark form, separately, as in the case of “mixed” trademarks. This being the case, since the detail examination is not carried out separately, it is possible that a trademark name, design or three-dimensional form not subject to registration in Mexico could be accompanied by other elements (other names, logos, designs or three-dimensional forms that are distinct) resulting in a mark which, according to some of its fundamental elements, is not subject to protection because it creates confusion in the marketplace. In cases where one of the elements (name, design or three-dimensional form) is not subject to registration, Mexico’s trademark authorities will reject registration of the mark since in Mexico once a trademark application has been filed, such may not be amended by removing one of its elements, thus making it necessary to file a new application which does not contain the non-registerable elements referred to above.

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