Prior Investigation of Trademark Registration

January 18, 2009
Prior Investigation of Trademark Registration

The opening of global trade allows trademark owners to penetrate new markets. Occasionally, the owner of a trademark in a given country (and othercountries in which it plans to introduce products or services) after growing its business, decides to register its trademarks in new territory. In order to dothis, the trademark owner begins application procedures to obtain trademarks in such countries. However, the reality is that in the absence of specificinternational treaties on intellectual property, individual countries have the right to regulate the registration of trademarks, including prohibitions orlimitations on registering certain marks. In addition, it is also possible that the trademarks sought have already been applied for, or similar marksalready exist in the desired country. With this being the case, it is highly advisable to carry out a search in any of the countries the trademark ownerwishes to register a trademark prior to filing a trademark application, which also happens to be the case in Mexico, where applicants should search theMexican Institute of Industrial Property (Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial or IMPI) database in order to determine if any impediments thatcould affect registration exist (such as marks that are the same or similar in degree of confusion). This will allow trademark applicants to makeinformed decisions, whether this means modifying their marks to enable registration or contesting previously registered marks with available legalarguments.

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