Recognition of Well-Known Trademarks.

October 24, 2007
Recognition of Well-Known Trademarks.

For many years Mexican law has recognized certain well-known trademarks and prohibited registration with the Mexican IndustrialProperty Institute (IMPI) of marks considered “notoriously known”. Notwithstanding such, until recently Mexican law did not provideclear elements to determine whether or not a mark was notoriously known, thus leaving the issue to the IMPI’s discretion. At the sametime, there was no specific procedure for applying for such a ruling. On June 16, 2005, Mexico published amendments to the IndustrialProperty Law (Ley de la Propiedad Industrial) in order to include a chapter on “famous and notoriously known trademarks”. Someimportant aspects of such amendment refer to the authority of IMPI to issue rulings on the notoriety or fame of a trademark, and publishsuch in the IMPI’s gazette. Now there is a precise definition of “notoriousness” (known by a certain amount of the public), and for thefirst time a reference to “famous” marks (known by a majority of the public), and establishes the specific procedure for obtaining acorresponding ruling. The issuance of the Decree is a positive development given that it grants legal certainty to owners of “notoriouslyknown” and “famous” marks, as well as to consumers. Finally, please note that on September 13, 2007, government filing fees forobtaining such rulings were published in Mexico’s Official Journal of the Federation.

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