Notoriety and Reputation in Mexican Trademarks

July 12, 2009
Notoriety and Reputation in Mexican Trademarks

Mexican Trademark law expressly prohibits the registration of famous and notorious marks. Article 90 of the Industrial PropertyLaw (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial) establishes that “no mark with names, figures or three-dimensional forms, equal to orsimilar to a mark that has been declared notorious or famous in Mexico by the Institute may be registered, with respect toapplications for any product or service.” However it is important to distinguish what marks may be declared famous andnotorious, so the law provides the following definitions: (i) a mark is considered “notorious” in Mexico when a given portion ofthe general public or commercial sector knows the mark as a consequence of commercial activities in Mexico or outside ofMexico of a person using such mark, in relation to its products or services, as a consequence of the promotion or publicity ofsuch mark; and (ii) a mark is understood as famous when it is known by the majority of consumers in the general public. TheIndustrial Property Law establishes procedures for the declaration of a famous or notorious trademark; however, even withoutthe initiation or process of such procedures, Mexico’s trademark authorities have the authority to deem a mark to fall into onecategory or the other.

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